Sexism in Hollywood and Pay Disparity: Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock spoke about the first time, when she became aware that she was being treated differently at work because of her gender.

Bullock said: It’s a bigger issue than money. I know we’re focused on the money part right now. That’s just a byproduct. I keep saying, “Why is it that no one is standing up and saying you can’t say that about a woman?” We’re mocked and judged in the media and articles. Really, how men are described in articles versus women, there’s a big difference. I always make a joke: “Watch, we’re going to walk down the red carpet, I’m going to be asked about my dress and my hair, while the man standing next to me will be asked about his performance and political issues.” Once we start shifting how we perceive women and stop thinking about them as “less than,” the pay disparity will take care of itself. There’s a much bigger issue at hand. I’m glad Hollywood got caught.

But Hollywood has always been at the forefront of pioneering a new road and a new movement. So it’s a blessing that they got caught, and there are a lot of outspoken, narcissistic actors like myself who are very happy to talk about the issue and keep it alive.

I was destroyed, because you can’t unsee something. Was I so naïve up to this point to actually think that I was on an equal level with everybody? It was the way I was being treated, because I was female, versus the way others were being treated. It took me a while. It took a year and a half, where I regrouped, and thought, “Okay, this is an isolated case.” I’ve had other subtle experiences, but nothing that blatant. It was a big eye opener, because it wasn’t just men on women. A lot if came from women as well. The blessing of that film was that it opened my eyes.

I was just happy to be working, so you take it, especially in this business. Only like 1 or 2 percent of us get to do this job. I’m not money oriented. I lucked into money most of the time. But money is the byproduct of everything. How do you explain to your son that the ERA hasn’t passed? I want him to think I’m the boss and women are equal, but I can’t really support that in the outside world. I hope in my lifetime, for him, everything is a level-playing field. We can hope.