Emma Stone says directors have stolen her jokes to give to her male co-stars

Emma Stone says directors have stolen her jokes to give to her male co-stars
Source: AP
Source: AP

In an interview with Rolling Stone, La La Land actress Emma Stone said that, on more than one occasion, a director has taken something funny she's said off-the-cuff and written it into the script as a joke for her male co-star.

"There are times in the past, making a movie, when I've been told that I'm hindering the process by bringing up an opinion or an idea," she told the magazine. "I hesitate to make it about being a woman, but there have been times when I've improvised, they've laughed at my joke and then given it to my male co-star. Given my joke away."

Stone added that there have been other times when she's spoken up about a line she didn't think worked and directors have told her to say it anyway — in the end, the line still didn't work, she said. 

You need not be an A-list celebrity to empathize with Stone's experience. Such nuisances extend far beyond Hollywood. This year, we learned that female Supreme Court justices were significantly more likely than their male counterparts to be interrupted. And women in the White House developed their own strategy for making sure their male colleagues don't steal their ideas.

The widespread phenomenon pushed one Forbes contributor to write "Women's Ideas: Do Men Intentionally Steal Them?" In short, it's men's subtle sexist biases that make them claim their female co-workers' ideas as their own.

Source: Giphy

Stone may not want to make what happened to her about "being a woman," but given what we know about sexism in Hollywood, it's hard not to connect those dots.

Stone, at 28, is among a cohort of actresses including Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johannson who are consistently matched with on-screen male love interests decades their senior. By comparison, last year 37-year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal was reportedly deemed "too old" to play the lover of a 55-year-old man.

Meanwhile, actresses continue their fight just to be paid the same as their male co-stars — and while there have been some successes in 2016, there's still a long way to go.

On their own, these incidents might seem like misunderstandings or individual miseries. But when taken together, they form an overarching pattern of sexism that affects almost every woman in Hollywood.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marie Solis

Marie is a staff writer with a focus in feminist issues. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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