Times Margot Robbie Shut Down A Sexist Comment

As an A-list actor and successful film producer, it's safe to say that Margot Robbie is one of Hollywood's biggest players these days. Not only has the "Bombshell" star been nominated for several Oscars, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs, but she is also among the highest-paid actors in the business. 

Robbie has come a long way from her start on the Australian TV show, "Neighbours," on which she appeared from 2008 to 2011. Yet, it was the 2013 film, "The Wolf of Wall Street," that launched Robbie into fame. From there, she eventually became a household name for her portrayal of Harley Quinn in 2016's "Suicide Squad." That became a part that Robbie would continue to reprise and make her own over the years, changing the character from just Joker's girlfriend to a badass superhero in her own right. The star also received critical acclaim for her role as Tonya Harding in 2017's "I, Tonya," which she also produced. Between these gigs and her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in "Mary Queen of Scots," it seems that Robbie has made a career of playing strong and powerful women. 

However, like several other women in Hollywood, Robbie has unfortunately had to face a lot of sexism and misogyny throughout her career, which is something she seems to never have a problem calling out. Let's take a look at all the times Margot Robbie shut down sexist comments said to — or about — her, solidifying herself as an inspiring role model for women.

Margot Robbie clapped back at a sexist article on her

In 2016, Margot Robbie graced the cover of Vanity Fair for what was supposed to be a profile about her rise to fame and success found in several films that year. Instead, the piece ended up causing controversy for how it was written, with the magazine and contributing editor Rich Cohen being widely criticized for the article's seemingly sexist tone, which frequently commented on Robbie's looks over her achievements. In the opening paragraph alone, for example, Cohen wrote that Robbie is "sexy and composed, even while naked but only in character." Elsewhere in the piece, Cohen noted Robbie's "painfully blue eyes," and commented that her "beauty and speed of ascent mask her ambition." 

Not only was the profile called misogynistic and even "creepy" by fans, but Robbie herself felt the need to speak out against it. As she reflected on the Australian TV show, "The Project" (via The Hollywood Reporter), "I remember thinking, 'That was a really odd interview, I don't know how that's going to come out.'" The star continued, "Then when I read it and I was like, 'Yeah, the tone of this is really weird, I don't really know what he's trying to get at or play at.'"

While Robbie called out the writer for his angle, she admitted that she "didn't expect there to be like an uproar about it at all." Further explaining, "I've read far more offensive, far more sexist, insulting, derogatory, disgusting things on a daily basis," she added, "I don't know maybe I'm desensitized to it now." Desensitized or not, Robbie was sure to shut it down once it upset her fans.

That time she shut down questions about married life

While Margot Robbie may be happily wed to screenwriter and fellow producer Tom Ackerley since December 2016, she doesn't necessarily always want to be asked about how married life is — especially when at an event or press conference to discuss accomplishments in her career or a film she had worked on. It's also a question that male actors and producers never seem to get as much as women do.   

Robbie opened up to Page Six in 2017 about how this annoyed her and how getting married shouldn't be seen as an accomplishment for women, despite some making it sound that way. Recalling a "boss moment" from when she finally had enough and responded to what she appeared to see as a sexist question, the "Birds of Prey" star dished, "I was doing a press conference and they keep asking me what it was like to be married, and I said, 'Being married is not my achievement. My achievement is producing this film and having a producing deal with a major studio — that is my achievement.'" She continued, "And everyone shut up after that. It was really nice."

That's not to say that Robbie isn't enjoying being married. As she told Net-a-Porter, "Being married is actually the most fun ever, life got way more fun somehow. I have a responsibility being someone's wife, I want to be better." Instead, it appears as though she just doesn't want her status as a wife to overshadow what she has worked hard for professionally, which is understandable.

Margot Robbie pushed back against being labeled a 'bombshell'

Despite her obvious stunning beauty, Margot Robbie does not want to be described as a "bombshell," and she pushed back against that label in an interview with Vogue in 2019. Not only did she believe that the term put an emphasis on her looks over her talent, which can been viewed as chauvinistic, but the actor-producer also seemed to feel like it's not even an accurate way to truly describe her.

The "I, Tonya" star dished that while it may seem like a compliment, when it comes to being called a "bombshell," Robbie revealed, "I hate that word. I hate it — so much. I feel like a brat saying that because there are worse things, but I'm not a bombshell." She continued to discuss why the description bothered her so much, explaining, "I'm not someone who walks in a room and the record stops and people turn like, 'Look at that woman.' That doesn't happen. People who know me, if they had to sum me up in one word, I don't know what that word would be, but I'm certain it would not be 'bombshell.'"

It's clear that Robbie wants to be seen for her talent as an actor or for being a good producer than just for being beautiful, which seems to be something that a lot of women in Hollywood have to deal with. Yet, Robbie is willing to push back against it, even if she "feels like a brat" doing so, because, as she conceded, "there are worse things," after all, than being admired for one's beauty. 

This actor has called out reporters who ask her about having kids

Margot Robbie has also called out the interviewers who constantly ask if she's trying to get pregnant or when she plans to have a baby. It's a question that she's apparently been pestered with ever since she married her husband, Tom Ackerley, back in 2016. Not unlike the unwanted question of marriage, this is also one that women actors seem to be subjected to far more often than men in the industry — and frankly, Robbie has long been sick of it.

While promoting the period piece, "Mary Queen of Scots," in 2019, Robbie told the Radio Times, "I got married, and the first question in almost every interview is, 'Babies? When are you having one?' I'm so angry that there's this social contract." She continued to express her anger with its sexist connotation, adding, "You're married, now have a baby. Don't presume. I'll do what I'm going to do." Her costar, Saoirse Ronan, appeared to have her back on this, since she added, "Only women get asked that when they get married. Men don't."

While Robbie told Net-a-Porter that, "If I'm looking into my future 30 years from now, I want to see a big Christmas dinner with tons of kids there," she also clarified, "Definitely not at the moment. That's 100 percent certain." The star also joked, "I can't cope with two puppies, let alone children!" Robbie may have alluded to her desire to have kids, but it's not clearly something she should have to talk about publicly just because she's a married woman. 

Margot Robbie challenged colleagues who brushed her off

Margot Robbie has also opened up about the sexism she's faced as a producer in the film industry, and even publicly called out male colleagues who brushed her off in the past when it came to certain topics that they may have felt she couldn't handle. In 2020, the multi-talent explained to Glamour UK, "When people are asking a question and I have the answer, they so readily will turn to my producing partners who are guys and ask them." She even gave a specific example, adding, "It's a finance thing, so I will ask the guy. And they are like, 'actually she is the one with the answer, you should ask her!'"

Robbie blamed the insult on "the societal construct we have grown up knowing." "The Legend of Tarzan" star went on to discuss how "[sexism is] naturally ingrained in people — even if you are the one who should be dictating the decisions — that they turn to the closest, eldest male in the room and direct the question at them."

Yet, Robbie did feel like things were finally changing for the better for women in show business. She dished, "I think the interesting thing now is that everyone is so conscious of that and they often catch themselves. I think people want to embrace the idea of equality." And if they don't catch themselves, it's clear Margot Robbie will confront them for it.

She's defended her roles against sexist labels

Margot Robbie has had to defend some roles she's taken on as an actor from sexist labels. She was criticized, in particular, for Harley Quinn being portrayed in a seemingly sexist way in 2016's "Suicide Squad." However, the star dismissed the accusations, revealing (via the Evening Standard) that, "It's so rare as an actress that you get given a role this messed up and gritty and funny. He [director-writer David Ayer] didn't write it like a chick but he wrote it for a chick and I'm grateful."

Robbie eventually would make Harley Quinn a symbol of female empowerment when she reprised the role for 2020's "Birds of Prey," which she herself produced. In the film, Robbie decided to make Quinn's outfits "less male gaze–y" (via Vogue) and gave her an all-women gang, who weren't afraid to get their hands dirty. As Robbie told Glamour UK, "I think there's a misconception that women don't like action films or can't handle an R rating."

The actor-producer also stood up for herself when it came to criticism over the lack of speaking lines she had as Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood." Robbie seemed to disagree that it was an insult as the main female character, explaining at a panel event, per The Guardian, "To really show those wonderful sides of her, I think, could be adequately done without speaking." She continued to defend her decision by adding, "[I] actually really appreciated the exercise and felt that I could deliver what I wanted to onscreen."

Margot Robbie blasted Hollywood for 'unsatisfying' female characters

When it comes to being a woman in Hollywood, Margot Robbie has a lot to say. The "Focus" actor responded to the sexism she's faced in a speech delivered as the 2018 Women in Film Awards. In what she called a "letter to Hollywood," Robbie revealed (via Vogue Australia) how women "have to fight through degrading situations and will be offered chauvinistic roles by men who think that that's all anybody wants to see us play."

Robbie also addressed how she's taking on that issue by creating more female-driven content. "I already work with a ton of female writers who are brilliant, and I want to work with female directors," she said, adding, "I really want to work with actresses my own age. I'm trying so hard to get projects up and running with an ensemble of young female characters, because that's my life, my group of girls, we're a gang and we roll together and I'm like: 'Why is that not reflected in film?'"

It's even the reason she started a production company. Robbie later told the Radio Times, "I wasn't seeing many scripts where I wanted to play the female role. ... The female roles are always a catalyst for the male story, and that's unsatisfying." She continued, "So I was like, 'Well, we'll start making our own films, because we can't just sit around for ever and wait for them to come along.'" Basically, Margot Robbie has continued to respond to sexism not only through speaking out, but also through the movies she makes.