Who’s Sounding Off Now

By Michele Manelis

Who’s Sounding Off Now
Zoe Saldana talks to us about female roles in Hollywood, bridging the pay gap and shutting down sexism for good.

Even for A-list movie stars in the upper stratosphere of Hollywood who earn millions of dollars per movie, women are not paid the same as their male counterparts.  Zoe Saldana, known for her roles in Avatar, the Star Trek franchise, and most recently Guardians of the Galaxy, talks to MiNDFOOD and gets a few things off her chest.

 “I think it’s improving for women in Hollywood but definitely not at the pace that we would like. I think that what Patricia Arquette did at the Oscars was an absolute selfless act (speaking about the inequality of women’s salaries) and I am so proud and inspired by what she did.  We all know when you speak up sometimes there are negative repercussions and sometimes punishment is in order.

The Oscars are one of the most televised events in the world and she chose to talk about something that’s really important.  I feel like it’s about time that we continue to come together and just stand our ground as women. I think that there’s nothing you can’t convey if you say everything with love and respect.  You have to be firm, you have to be consistent and you have to speak out regardless of the consequences. If doors are shut because we’re ‘too difficult’ – females always get that when we’re opinionated, but when a man says the same thing he’s ‘intense’ or even ‘a genius.’ than so be it.”

Almost without breathing, she continues.  “And that’s another thing – the word ‘genius’ is always misused in Hollywood.  Einstein was a genius.  We’re just actors.

Women need to come together.  There’ll be moments when you’ll lose a part to another actress or any other profession for that matter, who’s willing to do it for less money but if you’ve worked really hard your participation and your name is worth something.  We have to stand tall and when someone says, ‘Screw you.  There are dozens just like you,’ that’s not true.  There is one of me and if you don’t see that, that’s your problem.  We have to be willing to walk away from things and we need to be able to look in the mirror and respect ourselves.  Women have to stop being distracted with all the fluff – fashion and beauty and body while men are talking about conquering the world!

I’m a mother now, I’m close to 40 and I’m really thinking long and hard about what kind of impact I want to leave on women.  It’s more than just being skinny and looking great and bouncing back after having my twins.  We need to reinvent ourselves, unite ourselves to other organisations where women are standing strong.  I don’t want to fight men, I love men, I worship men, but it’s time to stand beside them.  Not behind.”

And if you think Saldana is all talk, just ask Mr Saldana.  Her Italian husband Marco Perego, soccer player-turned artist took her name when they wed in 2013.  Now that’s equality!


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