As perhaps a few hundred people flocked to Cambridge’s Harvard Square to see Hollywood actress Mila Kunis appear in a short parade advertising Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, a handful of protesters followed with signs calling on the troupe to end its exclusion of women from its productions.
“Patriarchy Is a Drag,” “Take Your Misogyny And Shove It Up Your Fark-ass,” “Let Women In,” some of their signs read.
Hasty Pudding has maintained all-male casts of performers in its drag productions since its founding in 1844. The policy has come under increasing criticism in recent years. To challenge the sexist policy, women have auditioned for shows during the past three years, but not earned spots in the shows. Kunis, who has been a vocal critic of gender discrimination, had been criticized for agreeing to be honored with the annual Woman of the Year award.
But during the group’s subsequent roast, Pudding President Amira T. Weeks announced that beginning next year the group would cast women. The Harvard Crimson reported that she read a letter from former Pudding president Andrew L. Farkas stating that “With no further fanfare, the graduate board of the Hasty Pudding Institute has determined that, commencing with the 2019 Hasty Pudding Show, the Hasty Pudding welcomes women to audition and perform in the roles in the show, and be given equal opportunity to play those roles based on the quality of their individual talents.”
Speaking at a press conference afterward, Kunis said she only appeared because the troupe had finally decided to go co-ed, according to the Crimson.
“I wouldn’t be here otherwise,” she said.