In today’s edition of Bad Hollywood Liberals, Meryl Streep and her “Suffragette” costars made the baffling decision to wear shirts that say “I’d rather be a rebel than a slave” on the cover of Time Out London.
Here’s the full line, which is a quote from Emmeline Pankhurst, the British women’s right activist Streep plays in the forthcoming film:
"Know that women, once convinced that they are doing what is right, that their rebellion is just, will go on, no matter what the difficulties, no matter what the dangers, so long as there is a woman alive to hold up the flag of rebellion. I would rather be a rebel than a slave.”
Source material aside, it’s pretty poor optics to be wearing a shirt that not only ignores the historical context of the term "slave," but, to quote Charline Jao over at The Mary Sue, "seems to reproduce the same lack of intersectionality that was present in Pankhurst’s time." It certainly seems like something the film's PR team should have picked up on given that the movie is already been criticized for its lack of diversity (not to mention Streep’s refusal to label as a feminist in an interview last week).
Read some of the online backlash below: