Mila Kunis titles the essay, published yesterday by A-Plus, ‘You'll never work in this town again’, which is what she was told by a producer when she refused to pose semi-naked on the cover of a men's magazine to promote a film.
She explains: ‘I was no longer willing to subject myself to a naïve compromise that I had previously been willing to… I was livid, I felt objectified, and for the first time in my career I said "no." And guess what? I did work in this town again, and again, and again.’
Kunis went on to talk about women’s fear that their ‘livelihoods will be threatened’ or they will be labelled ‘a bitch’ if they speak up for themselves: ‘So we compromise our integrity for the sake of maintaining the status quo and hope that change is coming.‘
She talks about the gender pay gap and writes: ‘Throughout my career, there have been moments when I have been insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender… But the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realized that it's bullshit! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen.’
Kunis talks about how she went on to form a production company with ‘three amazing women’ to ‘develop quality television shows with unique voices and perspectives.’
She concludes: ‘If this is happening to me, it is happening more aggressively to women everywhere. I am fortunate that I have reached a place that I can stop compromising and stand my ground… I am also fortunate that I have the platform to talk about this experience in the hope of bringing one more voice to the conversation so that women in the workplace feel a little less alone and more able to push back for themselves.
‘I will work in this town again, but I will not work with you.’