In a new interview with Time, the Oscar-winner spoke about her career and fame as well as how the New York Times documentary Framing Britney Spears made her reflect on a time in her life when both she and Spears were in the spotlight in the Noughties.
The Big Little Lies star noted that, at the time, the media branded her and other actors like Jennifer Garner as "good", while Spears, actor Lindsay Lohan and entrepreneur Paris Hilton were labeled "bad" - a factor which she believes impacted the trajectory of the women's careers drastically.
Witherspoon also recalled instances of bombardment from the paparazzi during her rise to fame. "My children will tell you stories about being in preschool and people climbing on the roofs of our cars," Witherspoon told the publication. In 2006, Witherspoon's family relocated to Nashville from California.
The 45-year-old continued, recalling times when she would scream at photographers, but videos of such interactions would rarely affect her reputation the same way it did other celebrities.
"What if the media had decided I was something else? I would be in a totally different position. I want to say it's my decisions or the career choices I made, but it felt very arbitrary. And kind of sh*tty," she noted.
The different ways the media has treated women over the years is something Hilton also recently reflected on in a February episode of her podcast This Is Paris.
Referring to The New York Times documentary's examination of Spears' treatment by the press and her conservatorship battle, Hilton noted: "I've been reading all of these articles coming out where they were just saying, like, Britney, Paris and a group of us were just were treated so unfairly and just, like, this really misogynistic view and just being very cruel and mean and making fun of us.
"It made me think a lot this week, reading all these new things that are coming out after the Britney film."
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