At first, the moderator — a sweet-voiced writer from the LA Times — asked them typical, if interesting, questions. “What’s your favorite stunts?” “Your most challenging costumes?” “Do you have trouble leaving your character behind?” That kind of thing.
Then, she half-turned to look at them. “What’s the most egregious example of sexism you’ve seen on set?”
"Some actor dude once said chicks couldn’t drive cars," Michelle scoffed. “I was like, ‘Move over.’"
The audience laughed a little. Sexism! Girls can drive cars. Silly sexist actor boys. No one in the audience was like them.
"One time when a crew member started hitting on me when I was tied to a bed for a scene," Tatiana Maslany offered. “I was young. I was just starting out. I couldn’t get away."
Less laughter now from the audience.
"Once a guy on set kinda beat the shit out of me during a fight scene," Katee Sackhoff said. “He said he thought I could ‘handle it.’"
No laughter now. Lots of squirming. The guy beside me was checking Twitter.
"He’s lucky I wasn’t there," Michelle said. “That kind of thing makes my blood boil.”
Onstage, though, it was like a fucking dam had broken. Michelle lectured us all, at length, on how 80% of the content written for women is by guys, and how they don’t know shit. “Dudes, I love dudes,” I remember her saying, “But they don’t know how to write for women.” Maggie Q talked about how, as an Asian-American actress, everyone expects her to be quiet and demure and also know how to do kung-fu in heels. Danai Gurira actually used the phrase “white male privilege.” In a room full of 6,000 Marvel fanboys! Male privilege.
I kept screaming, entirely spontaneously, like the sound was being ripped out of me. I couldn’t help it. I think I cried a little. I felt like I was in church.