Women Can Now Join In On A 223-Year-Old Harvard Org’s Tradition — And Mila Kunis Approves

"I'm here. I wouldn't be here otherwise."

America's oldest collegiate theatrical organization and the third-oldest in the world, Harvard University's Hasty Pudding, is proving that you can teach an old theater group new tricks. Mila Kunis, its Woman of the Year for 2018, is praising the group for making a big change in regards to opening up the usually all-male cast to women beginning next year.

"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," Amira Weeks, the 223-year-old group's student president, read from a letter.

Known for comedic revues featuring men in drag playing female characters, the Hasty Pudding has seen students and alumni calling for this to happen for years — with some female students even auditioning in protest but never getting cast. Given how Kunis has been outspoken about sexism in the entertainment industry, some called for her to pass up being honored by the group — but the actress said it's because of this progress that she accepted it in the end.

"Most of Hasty Pudding is women, they're just not on stage," the Bad Moms star said, calling it an "honor" to be involved during the organization's "year of change." "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."

"I'm here. I wouldn't be here otherwise," the 34-year-old actress, who was roasted as part of the day's festivities, added. "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."

Plus, showing up was never not an option for her, calling it a "pretty weak stance" to have considered. "The smarter thing … to ask of me would've been to take a stance. Backing down is not taking a stance."

Aside from all the history-making announcements of the day, there was also a lot of fun involved. In addition to accepting a golden pudding pot, she apparently also inhaled helium from a balloon (plugging the bourbon brand Jim Beam in a high and squeaky voice), danced with an actor in a Black Swan-inspired costume, and gave everyone her best Boston accent.

The three most recent Woman of the Year honorees have been actresses Amy Poehler, Kerry Washington, and Octavia Spencer — with the award reaching all the way back to 1951.

(H/T: The Crimson | Page Six)

Cover image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock


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