During WSJ Magazine’s 2017 Innovator Awards in New York City, Reese Witherspoon did not mince words. She was being honored as the Entertainment Innovator of the Year, and she spoke truth to power, but not without pissing a few people off.
“I don’t really believe that we’ve been seeing the full spectrum of the female experience, and that is simply because women’s stories are not prioritized,” she said as noted by HuffPost. “And I’m not talking about mommy blogs and 14 ways to cook a turkey.”
On one hand, The Big Little Lies star brings up a great point. In our post-Weinstein era, women are arguably — rightfully, deservedly — demanding higher standards than ever before. However, Witherspoon’s “mommy-blog” barb didn’t sit well with a few actual mom bloggers, notably Meredith Gordon, the creator of Bad Sandy. In her “Open Letter to Reese Witherspoon” published on Mom.me, Gordon called out what she felt was a contradictory remark.
“I was curious why someone in your position would marginalize a group of women who are doing exactly what you claim to want to do,” Gordon stated. “Bloggers are using their own platforms, which they have painstakingly built on their own, to provide a myriad of content to an audience hungry for authentic entertainment, as well as information. Bloggers are their own bosses, own their own content, and are in full control of their schedule and workplace. The online community is one of the few branches of the entertainment and media business that is dominated, if not run by, women. But yet you equate what we are doing to something as trite as ’14 ways to cook a turkey.’” Gordon also called out Witherspoon for using the phrase “mommy bloggers,” which many mothers in the blogger word view as a pejorative label.
As WSJ noted, Witherspoon is certainly “changing Hollywood for women.” Not only is she an award-winning actor and mother of three, she also runs her own production company, Hello Sunshine, which boasts Big Little Lies, Gone Girl and Wild on its roster. Like the Tracy Flick character Witherspoon played in 1999’s Election, Witherspoon is truly is a woman about her business. She is also responsible for the growing lifestyle brand Draper James, which seems to be pretty popular on the mom blog circuit… so it’s why that remark ruffled a few feathers.
And for the record, there’s no shame in learning one’s way around a piece of fowl — whether or not you can cook it 14 different ways (because who can do that?). And considering Hollywood’s own obsession with frivolous material, here’s hoping Witherspoon’s POV also finds its way into the industry she’s most widely associated with.