Reese Witherspoon is often on the cover of tabloids that scream unkind, untrue, and downright gross messages about her personal life, but it was the cover of TIME that managed to drive the Morning Show actress to tears. The incident in question came right as Witherspoon was making her most ambitious move yet in regards to her business, and the magazine’s outrageously offensive and sexist coverage of it shocked Witherspoon to her core. She recalled that time in her life during an interview with Kristen Bell on The Good Place actress’ podcast.
Reese Witherspoon Calls Out Sexist Coverage
Reese Witherspoon appeared on the latest episode of the We Are Supported By podcast, which is hosted by Kristen Bell and Monica Padman, and discussed a magazine cover from 2015 that drove the normally tough-as-nails actress to tears.
“I think it was 2015. I had started a clothing business. Gwyneth was really growing Goop. Blake Lively had a business, Jessica Alba had a business,” Witherspoon recalled. With so many famous women starting and maintaining wildly successful businesses, TIME decided to do a story.
It was entitled “Hollywood’s New Domestic Divas” and it included a cover image that was “a caricature cartoon of all of us,” an outraged Witherspoon explained. “We were in ball gowns, and they stuck our heads on,” she added. “And Jessica was holding an iron, and I was holding a vacuum cleaner. The whole thing was so offensive that I burst into tears.”
Old-Fashioned Depictions Of Famous Ladies Drew Controversy
Bell immediately responded, “Gross! Whose grandpa drew that?” She was no doubt referring to the age-old sexist stereotypes the magazine presented. It was quite the blast from the past, with both Blake Lively and Witherspoon wearing photoshopped aprons as the five successful businesswomen performed menial household chores in the heavily photoshopped image. Witherspoon went on to explain that TIME later apologized for the insensitive, dreadfully out-of-touch artwork.
“It was in a massive publication, and I’ve since been in that publication, and they said sorry, but I’m not even talking about 10 years ago,” Witherspoon said, adding, “I’m talking about 2015 when we decided we’re going to be entrepreneurial, we were going to do something, take a swing, invest our own money, our own time, our reputation and try and do something that George Clooney has done, Robert De Niro has done, and getting lampooned for it.”
Putting The Scandalous Cover Behind Her
Witherspoon remarked on how women are often expected to stay “in their lane” when they try to expand their careers, adding, “That message to little girls is if you’ve had success in one area, you can’t have success in another,” which she called “so limiting.” She also added that the media can be “so punishing” towards those that dare challenge the status quo. Happily, Witherspoon managed to move on from the incident and hasn’t let it taint her ambitions.
She recently sold her production company, Hello Sunshine, for $900 million, an extraordinary amount of money that has already gotten the tabloids buzzing about her marriage of all things. Despite the inevitable media backlash for every move she makes, Witherspoon continues to demonstrate what it means to be a multifaceted woman, mother, actress, and entrepreneur in today’s society.