Maggie Gyllenhaal Fought Hard for Us to See a Woman Masturbate and Come on TV

Illustration for article titled Maggie Gyllenhaal Fought Hard for Us to See a Woman Masturbate and Come on TV
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Women are fighting for a lot of rights in Hollywood and that means showing our whole truth. We masturbate! And Maggie Gyllenhaal believes everyone should know what that looks like if they don’t already.


In a roundtable conducted by The Hollywood Reporter featuring Angela Bassett, Claire Foy, Elisabeth Moss, Thandie Newton and Sandra Oh, Maggie Gyllenhaal was asked about her role as a producer on her HBO series The Deuce, which (still) co-stars noted creep James Franco. Gyllenhaal shared a story about insisting that a scene in which her character masturbates be included, for excellent reasons:

“Well, for example, in our show there is lots of prostitution, lots of transactional sex, lots of fake orgasms. They’re not called fake orgasms, but you cut in on the end of a sex act between a sex worker and a John and you hear this loud orgasm, and I said to David Simon, the man running our show, ‘I think you need to see a real feminine orgasm in order to show the contrast and to show that these are performative. It will illuminate the misogyny and the performance and all that stuff.’ When I first said it to him, he pretended to spit his water back in his cup. But then he wrote a scene where my character is sleeping with somebody whom she actually wants to sleep with. He doesn’t make her come, and so she turns over and makes herself come.”

The scene was cut, which upset Gyllenhaal. She ended up writing “a dissertation by email” to her fellow producers and asking, “Where is the orgasm?” The eternal question! It was ultimately included in the show, to the delight of all:

BASSETT: You fought for it.

OH That’s fantastic. Such a great win.

Read more here, including a discussion about selecting prosthetic penises for shoots and the deliberate nudity on Westworld.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



“Where is the orgasm?”

story of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!