Jennifer Lawrence has emerged as a leading voice for female equality in Hollywood — but it wasn’t always easy for her.
The actress sat down for The Hollywood Reporter‘s latest dramatic actress roundtable alongside Emma Stone, Allison Janney, Jessica Chastain, Mary J. Blige and Saoirse Ronan where she opened up about an instance in which standing up for herself led to backlash on the set of a movie.
“I finally made the decision to stand up for myself, and then I went to go to the bathroom at work and one of the producers stopped me and was like, ‘You know, we can hear you on the microphone, you’ve been really unruly,'” Lawrence, 27, said. The Oscar winner didn’t name what movie she was working on at the time.
She continued, “Which was not true, but basically my job was threatened because the director said something f—– up to me and I said, ‘That’s sick, you can’t talk to me like that,’ and then I was punished, and I got afraid that I wasn’t going to be hired again.”
The topic came up in light of the recent Hollywood sexual harassment scandals that have seen repercussions against powerful movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, director and producer Brett Ratner and others. Lawrence said her experience helped her understand why some victims took so long to come forward with their stories.
“I think a lot of people aren’t coming forward because they’re afraid they’re not going to work again,” she said. “You need to be able to say, ‘This is wrong’ and have somebody do something about it instead of saying, ‘Oh, it’s wrong? Well, you’re fired.'”
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Lawrence has also been vocal in the fight for equal pay in Hollywood after the Sony hack revealed she was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle. It made her want to call attention to the problem and be an example for women in other professions.
“The reason was really — we’re in the industry, everybody is looking at us, if we’re going through this, every woman in the world is going through this,” she explained. “But the real problem is the normalization of it. It’s the reason why your agents don’t think twice about paying you a third of your [co-star’s paycheck] because it’s been so normalized for so long.”