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08th Mar 2022

Cameron Diaz on “heavy” misogyny in the film industry and downsides of fame

Katy Brennan

She admits she often laughed it off just to get by.

Cameron Diaz has opened up about the heavy amount of misogyny she faced throughout her career in the film industry.

The actress famously retired from acting in 2018 to focus on other aspects of her life.

Now, reflecting on her career, the 49-year-old admits she sometimes ignored or laughed off misogyny just to “get through unscathed”.

“I certainly didn’t do as much as could be done now, because of the awareness of everybody, with #MeToo,” she said on the Rule Breakers podcast with Michelle Visage.

“There were still parameters. The 1990s, the early ’00s – there was still heavy, heavy misogyny. The level of exploitation… it just laid on the entire industry.”

Host Michelle remembered just how rampant sexism was at that time, saying she would often just laugh things off – to which Cameron agreed.

“It was the normal thing to do to laugh and just be able to get through unscathed,” she replied.

“Be the one who participated enough to make everybody feel taken care of but not to be a victim in that position.

“To know how to navigate the whole thing because it was happening all day, every day in every little feeling of layers of existence. It’s a very different thing now, I think.”

Cameron said she took roles like Natalie in Charlies Angels and the voice of Fiona in Shrek because they were a little different than the “typical” narratives about women.

Later in the interview, she went on to reveal that fame sometimes made her feel like a child.

“Fame is very infantilising,” she said. “They treat you like you’re so precious you can’t do anything for yourself, everything should be done for you…

“It very much takes away from your own sense of autonomy and ability to take care of yourself.”

Cameron married musician Benji Madden in 2015. The pair welcomed their first child, Raddix, in December 2019.