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Female performers should be called actors – poll

Denise Gough. Photo: Manuel Harlan Denise Gough. Photo: Manuel Harlan
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More than 60% of respondents to an online poll run by The Stage believe female performers should be described as ‘actors’.

The poll was run in response to comments made by Denise Gough, who said the term actress should be used.

In an interview with The Guardian, she said: “We fought to be on the stage. We should reclaim that word: I don’t know where it came from, this fucking notion that putting ‘ess’ on the end makes us weak. I would be no less afraid of a lioness than a lion.”

However, a poll run by The Stage found that 66% of respondents believe actor should be used, with just 34% arguing it should be actress.

In total, 2,450 people took part in the poll.

The issue of whether the term actress should be applied to female performers has previously been challenged by Whoopi Goldberg, who is quoted as saying: “An actress can only play a woman. I’m an actor – I can play anything.”

The issue was previously highlighted by The Stage in 2014.


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