Demi Moore has blamed her mid-career slump on Hollywood’s sexist attitude towards her fight for equal pay.
The 56-year-old actress was one of Tinseltown’s biggest stars in the 1990s, but fell into a career slump after taking a break from acting following 1997 action thriller G. I. Jane.
Her earnings, including a $12.5 million (£10.1 million) fee for starring in 1996 movie Striptease, created headlines and blazed a trail for actresses demanding higher pay, but she told The New York Times it made her a target, with her explaining that with success “came a lot of negativity and a lot of judgement towards me, which I’m happy to have held if it made a difference”.
Asked if she thinks she helped in the fight for equality, Demi added: “I do, actually. I know that it really resonated. It’s not about me doing it. I was just the instrument by which it was done… Clearly it didn’t do enough because we’re still, this many years later, dealing with it.”
However, the star said that when G.I. Jane flopped, her detractors pounced and damaged her career.
“They weren’t going to let me win. That, to the little girl in me – that was crushing,” she explained, adding that she went for roles after taking a break due to her divorce from Bruce Willis and the death of her mother, producers no longer wanted to cast her.
“They’d say they don’t really know what to do with you, where to place you,” Demi revealed. “I was like, oh, well is that supposed to flatter me?”
Her close pal Gwyneth Paltrow agreed, gushing that her success helped female stars demand better, if not yet equal, pay.
“She became a movie star in this time where women didn’t naturally fit into the system,” Gwyneth told the publication. “She was really the first person who fought for pay equality and got it, and really suffered a backlash from it. We all certainly benefited from her.”
The Indecent Proposal star releases her memoir, Inside Out, later this month.