11 Leading Ladies Who Have Spoken Out Against Ageism, Sexism in Hollywood (Photos)

Actresses including Patricia Arquette, Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett sound off on how discrimination has impacted their careers

Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s revelation that she “was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55” has reopened the old wounds of Hollywood’s long history of sexism and ageism.

“There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time,” she said during an interview for an upcoming issue of TheWrap Magazine. “I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made me feel angry, and then it made me laugh.”

Gyllenhaal is not alone, either. TheWrap has compiled a list of actresses who have spoken about the effect the unjust practices have had on the industry and their careers.

Patricia Arquette

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“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” — 2015, Best Supporting Actress Oscar acceptance speech

Zoe Saldana

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“By the time you’re 28 you’re expired, you’re playing mommy roles.” — 2014, The Telegraph

Meryl Streep

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“Once women passed childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level.” — 2011, Vogue

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno, Jane the Virgin

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“Growing old in Hollywood is a serious deficit.” — 2011, “Rita Moreno: A Memoir”

Sarah Silverman

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“As soon as a woman gets to an age where she has opinions and she’s vital and she’s strong, she’s systematically shamed into hiding under a rock.” — 2013, “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell

Jane Fonda

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 17: Jane Fonda attends the Kering Official Cannes Dinner at Place de la Castre on May 17, 2015 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/Getty Images)

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“It’s critical that women are at the heart of the international film industry, not just as glamorous icons but as creators, as artists, as decision makers, ensuring that the narrative – of not just half but 51 percent of the world’s population – is fully represented.” – 2015, Acceptance speech for Women in Motion award at Cannes Film Festival

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek on Getting Kicked Out of Catholic School

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“The only kind of movie where women make more than men is the porno industry.” — 2015, The Independent

Tina Fey

amy schumer unfuckable

“[Men are] f–kable forever. They could be 100 with nothing but white spiders coming out [of their privates], but they’re f–kable.” — 2015, “Last F–kable Day” sketch from “Inside Amy Schumer

Cate Blanchett 

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“[Thank you] to the audiences who went to see [“Blue Jasmine”]. And perhaps to those in the industry foolishly clinging to the idea female films with women at the center are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them.” — 2014, Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts to Star in 'Shut In'

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“I would be given back all my studio muscle provided I used it to beat another woman senseless and get so turned on by that thrashing that I would have to have urgent sex with my 60-year-old male costar whose buttocks were to be played by a gymnast. I’m still deciding whether or not I should take that job.” — 2011, Acceptance speech for Elle Women in Hollywood award

Helen Hunt

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“What are the great movies for younger women where they’re the protagonist [being] made now? You know what I mean? The whole thing — there’s no equal rights amendment. We’re f–ked.” — 2015, HuffPost Live

Matt Donnelly contributed to this report. 

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