Jennifer Aniston has encountered sexual harassment and sexism in Hollywood, but not necessarily in the way one would think.
In the cover story for InStyle’s September issue, the actress, 49, told writer and producer Molly McNearney that it hasn’t always been men who have treated her the worst in the entertainment industry.
“I’ve definitely had some sloppy moves made on me by other actors, and I handled it by walking away,” she told the magazine. “I’ve never had anyone in a position of power make me feel uncomfortable and leverage that over me. In my personal experience, I’ve been treated worse verbally and energetically by some women in this industry.”
In fact, the former “Friends” star said that it’s in the media — where she’s been a fixture of tabloid coverage for two decades now — where she feels her gender has been most held against her.
“I’ve definitely had my fair share of sexism in the media,” she explained. “Women are picked apart and pitted against one another based on looks and clothing and superficial stuff. When a couple breaks up in Hollywood, it’s the woman who is scorned. The woman is left sad and alone. She’s the failure. F that. When was the last time you read about a divorced, childless man referred to as a spinster?”
Because of this, Aniston — who split from husband Justin Theroux earlier this year — has hope that movements like Time’s Up and #MeToo will lead to lasting change. But for that change to really stick, she thinks that people need to do a better job of listening to one another.
“Yes, and it’s long overdue,” she said. “But we also need to be better at listening to one another. That includes men. They need to be part of this conversation. When everyone is mad and aggressive, people become too afraid to speak and there is no conversation. Same goes for politics. We need to include each other, to hear each other out. We can’t stoop to the anger. Michelle Obama said it best: ‘When they go low, we go high.’ We should all be living by that if we want real progress.”
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