Emma Stone’s Rolling Stone interview reminds us that sexism exists in many forms.

'I've been told that I'm hindering the process by bringing up an opinion or an idea.'

Surprise, surprise! Sexism is still rampant in Hollywood and the media.

Emma Stone, the star of Oscar-buzzy film "La La Land" is the first woman to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine by herself since November 2015. Hillary Clinton was on the cover in March, but she shared it with Bernie Sanders.

What's more, despite her powerhouse performance, guess what she's wearing? A freaking nightie.


Rolling Stone's January12-26, 2017 issue. Photo by Rolling Stone.

Now, of course, women can wear whatever the heck they want and shouldn't be judged for showing a little (or a lot) of skin. However, when a woman hasn't appeared alone on the cover of a magazine known for a troubling double standard when it comes to cover shots in over a year, and the first one to do so shows up in a photo that will likely be pinned to the walls of boys dorm rooms everywhere ... it feels a little unfortunate, to say the least.

So just in case you thought the sexist treatment of women in the entertainment biz had diminished, consider this your friendly reminder it's still very much alive and well.  

In the actual interview, Stone digs deeper into the sexism she's experienced on set.

Despite having an extensive background in theater, improv, and sketch comedy, she said she found that any ideas she offered during the filming process were often disparaged or cast off by the people in charge.

"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," Stone told Rolling Stone.

Photo by Matt Winklemeyer/Getty Images.

Even worse? "There have been times when I've improvised, they've laughed at my joke and then given it to my male co-star," Stone said.

This is the Hollywood equivalent of a woman having a great idea in a work meeting, and a boss taking it and giving it to his best male employee to run with.

Stone joins the ranks of other powerful women in Hollywood speaking up about sexism in the past couple of years.

A month ago, Mila Kunis wrote an open letter about how she's experienced major bias in her career because of her sex.  A year ago, Maggie Gyllenhaal was told at 37, she was too old to play the lover of a 55-year-old man. And "Modern Family" actress Ariel Winter recently called out how shameful it is that people give so much more attention to her outfit choices than her work.

Ariel Winter. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

The good news is that for every handful of stories we see about sexism in Hollywood, we’re also seeing stories about progress.

"Shameless's" Emmy Rossum just won a months-long battle to receive pay equal to her male co-star William H. Macy. Felicity Jones negotiated a salary far and away above her co-stars for her work in "Rogue One." And Geena Davis is helping to build software that will detect sexism in TV and films to make it easier to root out.

Is the Rolling Stone cover with Emma Stone the worst, most offensive example of sexism in Hollywood or the media today? No. But it perpetuates the idea that a woman's appearance and how appealing she looks to men is more valuable than her thoughts, talents, ideas, career, or contributions to the world. So, yes, the battle against sexism in entertainment is being fought every day, but as long as covers like Emma Stone's exist, so will sexism.

Until that changes, why don't we try a compromise: for every woman who appears scantily clad on a magazine cover, a man must follow in a similar getup. See how much they like only seeing that reflection of themselves in the world.

At least that would somewhat level the sexist playing field.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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