A celebrity speaking out against President Donald Trump is so de rigueur we often wonder if it’s even worthy of reporting anymore. But when Zoe Saldana visited Sway in the Morning on Thursday, she used Trump’s presidency as a springboard to discuss sexism writ large, and her remarks on how attitudes toward women cost Hillary Clinton the election are worth talking about.
Saldana, who is promoting her new movie Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2, told Sway that while racism is still a scourge on this country, it pales in comparison to the insidious undercurrent of sexism. Saldana called sexism “stronger” and more “aggressive” than racism, and used last year’s election to drive home her point.
Saldana referenced how Clinton’s detractors used her email scandal to paint her as incompetent, despite the fact that she was one of the most qualified presidential candidates in history. Trump meanwhile, won office even after a tape leaked wherein he openly admits to sexually assaulting women.
“I’m just like, ‘People, she’s up against a man that calls women pigs on national television and she’s incompetent?’ There’s a big problem here and we have to address this pink elephant in the room. It has to do with sexism in America,“ she said. According to the actress, Clinton’s loss is part of a larger syndrome. “The moment a woman gains some kind of position of power, she will be questioned,” she said. “It’s almost like you’re trying to prove our incompetence.”
This isn’t the first time Saldana has spoken out against the way in which women are undermined or not given the same opportunities as men, especially true in Hollywood, where Saldana has spoken out about the lack of women in the workplace. “I feel lonely on set,” she told Time magazine earlier this year. “And it’s not just that you’re the only woman in the cast. There are very few women on the crew. You hardly ever get to work with a female director. Some female producers try to blend in with their male colleagues and won’t stand up to them. You’re completely outnumbered. And you take a hit in your paycheck as a woman too. I’m so fucking tired of it.”
The good news, Saldana says, is that the election’s results is empowering women to challenge the long-standing status quo. And she’s right. Since Trump took power, women across the country have been emboldened, motivated and most importantly, angry.