Notable actresses like Jessica Chastain and Patricia Arquette have joined the 21st century fight for women's equality in Hollywood, but sexism on movie sets has been going on since movies were first invented. Everything from harassment to fat shaming celebrities was common, even way back in the 1920s. Whether these horrible stories arose from the outrageous abuses of the old studio system or the out-of-control egos of leading men, sexism in old Hollywood was as commonplace as it was awful.
Behind-the-scenes drama on classic movies often came from scandals, many of which destroyed stars' careers. Some movie actresses never worked in the industry again after their experiences with male entitlement on movie sets. The stars who did continue on after dealing with sexism could expect the same type of treatment on the next set.
Women in movies are still fighting for equal pay, recognition for their work, and job opportunities, but systemic sexism in Hollywood clearly can't be solved overnight. Perhaps looking at the sexist experiences of these actresses from some classic films will help everyone in the industry move towards a fairer, safer environment.