Gemma Chan Says "There's A Lot Of Fear" About Speaking Up Against Bad Behaviour In The Film Industry: "You Can Be Penalised"
The Eternals star said,“It’s really difficult in my industry to speak up, with the power structures that are there."
Gemma Chan has been warned that speaking out against bad behaviour in the film industry can cost people their "livelihood".
In the September issue of Harper's Bazaar UK, the Crazy Rich Asians actress, 39, shared that her mission to promote more diversity in the film industry, as well as awareness of issues faced by the Asian communities, could cost her jobs.
“It’s really difficult in my industry to speak up, with the power structures that are there," she admitted. “I know you can be penalised in a way that means your livelihood has gone.
“Even if you try to do the right thing, speaking up against bad behaviour, all it takes is someone to interpret what you say the wrong way, or decide that you’re trouble.
“It’s a hierarchical, word-of-mouth kind of industry where, traditionally, bad behaviours have been indulged. There's a lot of fear. It's hard to change that culture. It takes years.”
Chan felt “very, very lucky” to be with boyfriend and fellow actor Dominic Cooper, 44, as he supported her when she launched a support network for Asian communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said his backing was especially felt when she started the #StopESEAHate campaign with GoFundMe that fought back against racially-motivated crimes aimed at those of East and Southeast Asian heritage.
The Eternals star added: “I think I’m so fortunate to be in a relationship where we can talk about anything.
“Dom was very understanding and empathetic. I was quite open about how I was feeling during that time, and he was just incredibly supportive.
“I definitely didn’t feel I had to shoulder everything on my own. I’m really, really lucky.”
Chan and Cooper have worked to keep their romance out of the spotlight since they got together in 2018.
After months of rumours they were dating, the couple made their first public appearance at an afterparty four years ago for the British Fashion Awards.
Chan is now producing the upcoming biopic of the first Chinese-American Hollywood star Anna May Wong.
She said: “Her struggles and triumphs are reflective of the conversations we’re still having now. She was seen as the perpetual foreigner, even though she was third-generation American.”
Chan's latest movie, Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling, opens in Singapore cinemas on Sept 22.
— BANG SHOWBIZ
Photo: TPG News/Click Photos