Oscar-winning actress Sally Field recently credited African American men for helping women advance in Hollywood when discussing the fight for diversity in the film industry.
The two-time Oscar-winning actor Sally Field has claimed the prominence of African American men in the current push for greater diversity in Hollywood is the only reason women are finally getting heard by studios.
High-profile stars from Liv Tyler to Daryl Hannah have long complained that opportunities for female actors begin to dry up once they reach their mid-30s. Some, such as Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon, have carved out opportunities for themselves by starting their own production companies. But interviewed for BuzzFeed, Field revealed such options were not open to her in the 1980s.
“It was extremely difficult to get really interesting, diverse projects set up,” said Field, who launched Fogwood Films in 1984, alongside the high-profile Hollywood producer Laura Ziskin, but found little success. “We were beating on the doors. But in those days, the Sundance film festival hadn’t happened like it is, independent film wasn’t available … there wasn’t the same kind of drumbeat to find a way to get a film made that’s so unique.”
The 69-year-old actress credited Black men for helping to set the tone for diversity in Hollywood.
“There’s a huge conversation about diversity happening across the boards – which is what it always should have been – that has to do with colour and race and gender preferences and men and women,” she said. “I think perhaps the fact it’s not just women now, that there’s others involved … I have to say, honestly, the fact men are involved. Thank God for African American men. You go, boys! We’re right behind you.”
“Because the women would still be shut out. It’s sad but true. If it were just Jen Lawrence and Amy Schumer – bless their beautiful, talented hearts – they would be shut out. I know it. It would be, ‘Oh, poor little rich girl.’ You know? So I’m standing right behind Beasts of No Nation. I’m with them. Maybe that’s because of my generation of women, who kind of went, ‘I already feel beat up, so I am accepting it.’ I [didn’t] head right towards them and say, ‘Ef you and the horse you rode in on.’ Which, you know, might not have been a bad idea.”