Mila Kunis Catches Heat for Accepting Controversial 'Woman of the Year' Award After Calls for Boycott

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Mila Kunis
Splash News

There's nothing quite like finding yourself in the middle of controversy, only to wind up in more controversy. Mila Kunis just accepted Hasty Pudding's award for "Woman of the Year," and she's still catching some heat for it amid earlier backlash and cries for a boycott.

  • Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatrical, a historically all-male ensemble, named Mila as the 2018 "Woman of the Year."

    The centuries-old club is notorious for its troupe of all-male actors, which has turned heads over the years. Still, the organization asserts that women have held "critical positions," mentioning in the website's casting section that ladies have been everything from presidents to producers, writers, and executive advisers. 

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    "Having an all-male cast is an artistic decision," Hasty Pudding notes on its website. "Men in women's roles is the Hasty Pudding's artistic trademark and its artistic merit comes from the fact that it challenges traditional perceptions of masculinity. This brand of parody and satire is what makes the Pudding unique."

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  • Needless to say, the idea of this celeb mom, who's often been an outspoken voice for gender equality, accepting an award from such a controversial group turned heads.

    Feminists spoke out about Mila and how disappointing it is for her to entertain such an accolade from such a patriarchal group. Liz Kantor, a Harvard senior who previously auditioned for Hasty Pudding, told WCVB 5 News, "It would be a wonderful thing for her to not accept this award, to say this is gender inequality. There are women on campus who are more than willing to take advantage of these opportunities, yet they're still being excluded. It just magnifies the misogyny that men are portraying these characters." The news outlet notes that Liz is one of many who've auditioned for Hasty Pudding shows in protest and were "promptly" cut, likely because they're not men.

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    Harvard alum and actress Rashida Jones criticized the organization she once had involvement with -- challenging Hasty Pudding to incorporate women -- during her 1997 commencement speech.

  • And this news about Mila has ruffled some feathers.

  • Still, Mila decided to head to Harvard to accept her award and enjoyed the parade and celebratory roast that followed.

  • But the celeb mama had more on her mind than giving an acceptance speech, as she revealed Hasty Pudding's decision to allow women to have acting roles.

    "Most of Hasty Pudding is women, they're just not on stage," Kunis clarified during her acceptance speech, Page Six reports. "This production has been forward thinking for many decades. It's not a male-driven organization. It just happens that historically that most of (the) performers on stage are men."

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    "I wouldn't be here otherwise," the actress points out in response to Hasty's decision to let women on the stage. "It was something very important to me. This is something this program always wanted to do. It was something that was going to happen inevitably."

  • Some thought Mila's comments about Hasty Pudding not being a "male-driven organization" was just a brush-off.

  • Others, however, celebrated her push for equality, celebrating her for Hasty Pudding's historic decision.

  • Still, there are critics who think that the praise for Mila's dismantling of Hasty's policies is "amusing," and they don't think she deserves credit.

  • The jury is still out regarding Mila's participation with Hasty Pudding. But at least it seems her presence helped push much-needed conversation that resulted in change.

    Mila Kunis
    Joe Martinez/PictureLux/Splash News

    Hasty Pudding's "Woman of the Year" has been around since 1951 with an assortment of beloved actresses -- like Debbie Reynolds, Lucille Ball, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Octavia Spencer, to name a few -- earning the title. 

    ... and no women allowed to participate onstage until now. (Well, technically next year.) 

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