Gemma Chan: Speaking out against bad behaviour in film industry can cost you livelihood

·2-min read


Gemma Chan has warned speaking out against bad behaviour in the film industry can cost people their "livelihood".
The ‘Crazy, Rich Asians’ actress, 39, admits it's "hard to change that culture" because "there's a lot of fear".
She told the new issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK: “It’s really difficult in my industry to speak up, with the power structures that are there.
“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.”
Gemma feels “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.
Gemma 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.”
Gemma and Dominic 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.
Gemma 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.”
Read the full interview at https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/gemmachan.

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