When the Los Angeles Times revealed its all-female cover for The Envelope earlier this week, readers immediately took note of a glaringly obvious detail: all six featured actresses were white. The roundtable, in which Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Diane Kruger (In the Fade), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird”), Kate Winslet (Wonder Wheel), and Annette Bening (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool) discussed, among other things, the treatment of women in Hollywood and their own evolutions, did not include a single woman of color—something critics pointed out on social media.
“Honestly @jes_chastain as an outspoken voice for equality how do you pose for a photo like this and not feel absolutely mortified by the blatant exclusion?” tweeted WNYC editor and Times critic Rebecca Carroll. “How is it possible to not understand the msg this photo sends?” Chastain responded to the tweet on Saturday night, inferring that Hollywood was to blame for the cover’s lack of diversity.
She then asked her followers to name some of their favorite lead performances from women of color, herself highlighting Salma Hayek’s turn in Beatriz at Dinner. When her followers mentioned both Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip and Mary J. Blige in Mudbound, both of whom were considered standouts, Chastain responded that, while she agreed that both were wonderful, they were supporting rather than lead performances.
“Its TERRIBLE that I can't think of at least 5 female lead films with woc this year,” Chastain continued. “In 12 months there's not even 5?!”
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