Emma Stone Reveals What a Sexist Hollywood Executive Told Her at the Start of Her Career

“That was 20 years ago, and I realized that advice is total garbage..."

Emma Stone attends the 2024 Variety Creative Impact and 10 Directors to Watch at Parker Palm Springs.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Emma Stone was not afraid to spill the tea while attending the Palm Springs Film Awards on Thursday, Jan. 4.

After winning the Desert Palm Achievement Award for best actress for her Poor Things performance, Stone took the stage and reflected on her time in the entertainment business.

“I’m grateful that I get to keep trying new things and for the opportunity to make choices when it comes to work because I know how rare and fleeting it can be to choose what you want to do, or who you want to work with, as an actor,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I was not always sure that that would be the case, because when I first moved to L.A., I went to one of those general meetings that they sometimes send you to. An executive told me that for male actors, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and in his eyes, for women, it was a sprint, not a marathon.”

Emma Stone accepts the Desert Palm Achievement Award for "Poor Things" onstage during the 35th Annual Palm Springs International Film Awards.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The actress went on to say that she received that so-called "advice" 20 years ago and has since "realized" that it is "total garbage."

"The majority of the women that I look up to in this industry, many of whom are in this room, have proven that as time goes on, life and work only get more interesting and more fulfilling,” she added and to a round of applause from the crowd.

Stone also said that her role in Poor Things gave her the opportunity to play a "woman who is immune to external expectations and impervious to judgment and shame."

"Playing Bella was challenging because I had to try to unlearn those aspects in myself, and it also made her an absolute joy to play," she continued. "To make this film has been a highlight of my life, mainly thanks to a true creative soulmate,” Stone said, referring to the film's director, Yorgos Lanthimos.

Emma Stone attends the "Poor Things" UK Gala Screening at Barbican Centre on December 14, 2023 in London, England.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stone concluded her moving speech by telling the crowd that she hopes "for many more years of the chance to take swings and to try new things and keep this marathon going."

Take that, unnamed sexist studio executive!

Danielle Campoamor

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.