Maisie Williams On Feminism & Game Of Thrones' Treatment Of Women

REX/Shutterstock
Maisie Williams, when she was first being interviewed, didn’t know what a feminist was. The actress, who plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, was initially confused by the question. Williams, now 18 but then around 12, didn’t know the specific meaning of the word.

“And then someone explained it to me,” she tells EW. “And I remember thinking, 'Isn’t that just like everyone?' And then I realized everyone is not a feminist, unfortunately. But I also feel like we should stop calling feminists 'feminists' and just start calling people who aren’t feminist 'sexist' – and then everyone else is just a human. You are either a normal person or a sexist.”

Williams says that although the show has been criticized for problematic depictions of women, that she feels the men get an equally unfair shake.

“On the show specifically, it’s always been a constant debate because women are treated badly on the show, and they’re treated well on the show,” she tells EW. “But it’s the same as the boys and the girls and the men and the animals. The themes are very dark. I get it that people don’t want to watch scenes like that. I understand, and you shouldn’t have to. But that’s the show that we’ve made, and I have no control over what’s written.”

While she understands the outrage around the show, she’s sometimes hesitant to speak on it.

“I’m going to say this in this interview, but I wouldn’t say it with anyone else: I sometimes really worry about speaking up about feminist subjects out of fear of being bashed by women on social media,” she tells EW. “And there’s something not right there. Yeah, sometimes it’s men too. But there are women who are just nasty. I’m trying to do the best I can.”

Strong material creates strong opinions. Especially when the material is as sensitive and controversial as that presented on Game of Thrones. But Williams has given us a reminder that the more popular and willing to offend a show might be, the more people are willing to argue about it.

You can read the rest of her interview here.

Advertisement

More from TV

Update: Julianne Hough has responded to Amber Rose's accusations that the dancer body-shamed Rose on Dancing with the Stars. Hough told Entertainment ...
Try as we may to separate the man from his work, it feels disingenuous to write about a Woody Allen project without so much as mentioning the personal ...
Everything about Luke Cage communicates strength. The burly Harlem resident seems patient and unfeeling. Bullets can’t wound Luke Cage, and knives can’t ...
The 2016 Emmy Awards were off to a great start when a surprising announcement came over the loudspeaker. A voiceover announced the next presenter: none ...
Every once in a while, a show comes along that we're super psyched about — and not just like, "This is a cool series you should consider watching," but ...
Every Wednesday, the Johnson family enters millions of living rooms across America. Dad Andre brings the laughs with his stubborn-but-silly antics, which...
Grey's Anatomy is back, and it's kicking off this week's episode with a Hamilton reference. Well, kind of. Technically, when Webber offers to be Bailey's...
Kimmy Schmidt lives in her own world. It's a cross between middle school, the year 1999, and present-day New York. Mix in the fact that she was held ...
We know what you're thinking: Gee, I really could use more Kardashian-Jenner-West coverage on TV. Just kidding. The only people who think that are E! ...
Amazing news, TV lovers of the world: Since we first published this story in 2013, there have been leaps and bounds in the number of streaming platforms ...
We're less than two months away from the Netflix premiere of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life on November 25. In the meantime, Rory and Lorelai thought ...
Two episodes into the third season of How To Get Away With Murder, we're one step closer to finding out who dies in the fire at Annalise's (Viola Davis) ...
We've written extensively about how all the American Horror Story seasons are linked. But we didn't realize that Roanoke would be the Rosetta Stone through...
Lip Sync Battle just released a clip to promote its next season, and it features a pretty impressive performance. A large cast of celebrities including ...