Jessica Chastain: Hollywood is 'an industry rife with racism, sexism and homophobia'

Jessica Chastain has called out Hollywood, claiming it doesn’t practice what it preaches in a passionate speech as more women detail their experiences with sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry.

Chastain, speaking at Elle Magazine’s Women in Entertainment event Monday night, said the entertainment industry is marred with “racism, sexism and homophobia,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"It is so closely woven into the fabric of the business that we have become snowblind to the glaring injustices happening every day,” she said.

"Oh we're very quick to point the finger at others and address the issue with social action and fundraising. Yet there is a clear disconnect between how we practice what we preach in our industry,” the 40-year-old actress added.


Chastain noted stars were quick to rally against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump after he was heard speaking in a lewd manner in an “Access Hollywood” recording, but she said Hollywood has ignored similar stories in the industry.

Chastain delivered a passionate speech on Monday amid the the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal.

Chastain delivered a passionate speech on Monday amid the the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal. (Reuters)

"We rally against the presidential candidate who slants a narrative of his sexual assault as mere locker room talk, but at the same time we ignore the stories and warnings of sexual predators in our offices,” she said.

The actress added she was taught to make herself “as little as possible, to never say something that could be taken the wrong way or offend the wrong person” if she wanted to get acting gigs. However, she now feels “inspired” by the women who have come forward about their sexual harassment and assault experiences.

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence also alleged Monday night they were sexually harassed and assaulted when they were starting out their acting career.

"I'm so inspired by the women who are far braver than I am, who have come forward with their stories and risked everything to help others,” Chastain said. “What is important is that the voices of these women do not disappear. We must amplify them.”

Chastain said shortly after the New York Times published its report on Weinstein that she was warned about working with the producer.

"I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an enviornment (sic) for it to happen again,” she wrote on Twitter.