Twenty-nine-year-old Tatiana Maslany earned an Emmy nomination this year for her role(s) as various clones in the popular BBC sci-fi show Orphan Black, an impressive achievement (and one many felt was overdue) considering the organization’s reluctance to recognize genre shows for major awards. But a genre bias isn’t the only obstacle Maslany has faced while working on the show. Maslany says she’s encountered sexism at every turn while working in Hollywood.
“I don’t think that any woman in this industry hasn’t [experienced sexism],” she told People. “I think we all have in various ways, and sometimes you can’t even tell that it’s happening because it’s so ingrained in the way things are structured.”
Maslany says the challenges vary, from being told to wax her mustache — “Which I refused to do!” — to her wardrobe belying the show’s emotional context in favor of sex appeal (e.g., wearing a midriff-exposing shirt while mourning someone’s death) to being talked down to by male co-workers. “I can’t even count the number of times … It’s just pathetic.”
“People are too upset, people are too pissed off and too many strong voices are now being heard,” she notes optimistically regarding the social changes under way in the industry. “There is a big shift happening, and I think we are at the messy puberty stages of it right now … It’s just about bringing that sensitivity, your emotional life and your understanding of humanity that women have that’s different to men.”