Alia Shawkat of "Search Party" wants to be heard on set

The actress says addressing sexual harassment is just the first step to changing how women are treated in Hollywood

Published November 20, 2017 7:01PM (EST)

Alia Shawkat in "Search Party" (Macall Polay)
Alia Shawkat in "Search Party" (Macall Polay)

How high up the ladder does a woman need to climb before she feels her voice is heard? The unfortunate answer, is that getting to the top doesn’t bring any guarantees, actor and start of "Search Party" Alia Shawkat told me on "Salon Talks."

“I’ll be on a set with a male actor, we’re both in the same role, same position of power on set. And I’ll suggest an idea and it’s talked over, and then he’ll say it and everyone listens," Shawkat said.

It’s an experience that too many women are familiar with, no matter where they work. Shawkat is an accomplished actress with roles in cult favorites ("Arrested Development," "Transparent," "Broad City"), who stars in the TBS comedic murder mystery “Search Party” and is the executive producer of the upcoming film, “Duck Butter."

“There’s a hunger to gain power on set as women, and literally my voice is not always heard. And that’s the most frustrating part, repeating myself," she said.

While the current societal focus is on allegations of sexual harassment and assault that have been brought to light, as well as holding men in positions of power accountable for their actions, Shawkat believes those steps are just the beginning to addressing gender dynamics in Hollywood. To hear more of her personal experiences feeling silenced, watch the video above.

Shawkat joined "Salon Talks" to discuss Season 2 of “Search Party," along with her costar John Reynolds. The show makes fun of listless Brooklyn hipsters but with a dark and deadly twist. Shawkat made sure to point out that Reynolds is not one of those men who have made her feel like gender is a reason to treat her differently.

Watch the full conversation about the show with Shawkat and Reynolds here.

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By Alyona Minkovski

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