Anne Hathaway is a divisive figure. About four years ago, the world reached peak Hathaway right after she won her Oscar for Les Misérables. She made the same mistake figures like Taylor Swift make… they become over exposed. They inundate us with their image, and it’s noxious, and we rebel by loading the internet up with snarky tweets and hit pieces until said starlet goes on hiatus.
It’s actually a pretty cruel cycle. And despite being fully on board with the rest of the world on wanting to see a little less Hathaway and Swift in the moments when they reached peak saturation, I can also see the pattern for what it is: misogyny. We never get to a point with male celebrities where we’re like, “OMG Chris Pratt, get your dick out of my pretty face!” And he’s a good example of a male celebrity who’s been pretty everywhere recently. We never say, “Justin Timberlake, quit being so cute!” And despite Swift and Hathaway making some tragically extra PR moves and being deserving of our collective eye roll, they are victims too.
They’re victims of a world that makes women shout for what men only have to whisper for, and then we get made fun of for shouting in the first place. And that’s just one part of it. On the flip side, women are just as capable of harboring internalized misogyny as men, which is something Anne Hathaway bravely admitted to recently.
Speaking about working with director Lone Scherfig on One Day, she confessed on Popcorn with Peter Travers, “…I am to this day scared that the reason I didn’t trust her the way I trust some of the other directors I work with is because she’s a woman.”
She elaborated, “I’m so scared that I treated her with internalized misogyny. I’m scared that I didn’t give her everything that she needed or I was resisting her on some level. It’s something that I’ve thought a lot about in terms of when I get scripts to be directed by women. I’m getting red talking about this; it feels like a confession, but I think it’s something we should talk about.” She continued, “When I get a script, when I see a first film directed by a woman, I have in the past focused on what was wrong with it. And when I see a film directed by a man, I focus on what’s right with it. I can only acknowledge that I’ve done that and I don’t want to do that anymore.”
Hathaway vowed to call Scherfig and apologize, but Sherfig’s reps released the following statement suggesting that won’t be necessary, “Lone Scherfig is deep in pre-production of her next film and is consumed by it. She asked me to express her love and admiration for Anne and her work.” That’s a little cold, but it’s still a sister helping another sister out, and I’m here for that.
Hathaway’s candidness is a great step forward, but it’s also a little jarring. One would hope that women would be the first to stand for other women’s work and trust them creatively. If we aren’t doing that for each other, who’s going to do it for us? But at least Hathaway recognized her error and not only wants to correct and apologize for it, but shine a light on how we can all treat women better and check our biases at the door, even women.