Gillian Anderson: 'intolerable' sexism 'happens all the time in Hollywood'

Gillian Anderson

The actor told Red magazine that sexism comes as standard in the film industry, and that ‘the expectation is that, if a woman is wearing a short skirt, she’s asking for it’

The actor Gillian Anderson has said that sexism still thrives across society, describing the situation for modern women as “intolerable”.

In an interview with Red magazine, she said that sexism is “built into our society – it’s easy to miss and it’s easy to get used to it”. She added that: “There are things that are intolerable in today’s world in terms of the perception of women. Whether they’re vamps or vixens the expectation is that, if a woman is wearing a short skirt, she’s ‘asking for it’.”

Anderson, who recently starred in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic in London, referred to the pay gap between her and X Files co-star David Duchovny at the height of her 1990s fame. “At the beginning, the pay disparity was massive. But that happens all the time in Hollywood,” she said. “It’s, ‘Do this for me, I’ll get you a job.’ All the stuff in the papers today about people in entertainment who have abused their position…”, referring to the spate of sexual abuse in TV and film that has come to light in recent months.

She also noted wryly that interviewers’ focus has shifted of late to Jamie Dornan, her co-star in BBC serial killer drama The Fall, which returns in November – Dornan is also to star in the hugely anticipated film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. “On the first series, people were like, ‘Who is this guy? Is he an ex-model or something?’ Now people don’t ever want to talk to me about The X-Files. They only want to ask about Jamie Dornan.”

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Beaumont-Thomas, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 1st October 2014 11.26 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010