Gender bias in entertainment world


Eriana Ruiz

Women in entertainment continue to face harsher backlash than their male peers.

Mykel Hilliard and Summer Schain

Women in the entertainment industry face many obstacles such as unequal pay, media scrutiny and discrimination based on age.

While media scrutiny isn’t exclusive to female entertainers, women tend to receive harsher backlash than their male counterparts. If a female entertainer faces drug abuse or mental health issues, the backlash increases. 

We continue to see men in the entertainment industry rehabilitate their image after facing obstacles, while women are villainized and must fight to get back in the good graces of Hollywood and the public. 


Before Robert Downey Jr. landed in the hearts of millions as Marvel’s Iron Man, he was one of Hollywood’s promising young actors. However, behind the scenes, he was an addict. 

By the late 1980s and through the 1990s, Downey had several drug-related arrests and had been in and out of rehab. 

After a few years of sobriety, Hollywood gave Downey a second chance and he landed his most well-known role as Tony Stark in the Marvel film “Iron Man.” 

When former child star Lindsay Lohan fell into addiction and legal troubles in the 2000s, she was met with scrutiny and bullying from tabloids. 

Despite Lohan’s recent years of sobriety, her career and public image have not amounted to the same success she had in the early 2000s. Unlike Downey, she  has not seen a rebirth of her career.

Lohan should be forgiven for her past mistakes and should be able to find work, but instead, she has been blacklisted from Hollywood for making similar mistakes to her male counterparts. 


Britney Spears and Kanye West were arguably two of the biggest artists of the 2000s. 

Both artists have faced mental health issues while in the public eye. 

Spears’ career took a downturn after her 2007 breakdown. This breakdown resulted in a media frenzy where she was deemed “crazy” and “bipolar” by some of her peers and some in the media. 

In June 2020, West sent out a series of concerning tweets. “Kim tried to bring a doctor to lock me up with a doctor,” he said in a tweet.

“Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like in the movie ‘Get Out’ because I cried about saving my daughter’s life yesterday,” he said via Twitter. 

West’s behavior seems to be ignored by his fans and some media outlets. His actions are often excused for being “misunderstood” or “artistic.” 

Had Spears behaved in the same manner, she would have been vilified and no one would be willing to work with her.


Conversations surrounding mental health advocacy and addiction have become more prevalent in the last decade. 

Unfortunately, women in the spotlight are not given the grace to make mistakes. 

From a young age, women are expected to be perfect, to avoid missteps and that’s unrealistic.

Women have the added burden of being caretakers. They often feel they must take care of everyone around them. 

If they break this mold or  experience a fall, they begin having issues. They do not receive the grace men do. This is unfair and sexist, and it needs to change.