Sydney Sweeney responds to producer who said she 'can't act' and asked 'why is she hot?'

By John Mercury April 19, 2024

Sydney Sweeney has hit back at a Hollywood producer who said she “can’t act” and is “not pretty”, calling her comments “sad” and “shameful”.

The 26-year-old actress, who’s starred in hits including White Lotus and Euphoria, is hot property in LA right now, most recently producing and starring in independent horror film Immaculate – just one of three feature films she’s had out in the last six months.

Pic: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CineVegas
Producer Carol Baum, pictured in 2007. Pic: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CineVegas

However, the Emmy-nominated actress came in for negative attention from veteran producer Carol Baum, who specifically referenced Sweeney following a film screening, asking the audience: “She’s not pretty, she can’t act. Why is she so hot?”

Baum, who has produced over 30 movies including Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Father Of The Bride, was speaking in front of a live audience with New York Times film critic Janet Maslin at an event in Pleasantville, New York, following a screening of her 1988 film Dead Ringers, staring Jeremy Irons.

Responding to the comments, a representative for Sweeney told Sky News: “How sad that a woman in the position to share her expertise and experience chooses instead to attack another woman.

“If that’s what she’s learned in her decades in the industry and feels is appropriate to teach to her students, that’s shameful.

“To unjustly disparage a fellow female producer speaks volumes about Ms Baum’s character.”

Baum’s comments, reported in Variety, were: “There’s an actress who everybody loves now: Sydney Sweeney. I don’t get Sydney Sweeney. I was watching on the plane Sydney Sweeney’s movie [Anyone But You] because I wanted to watch it.

“I wanted to know who she is and why everybody’s talking about her. I watched this unwatchable movie – sorry to people who love this… romantic comedy where they hate each other.”

Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney in Madame Web. Pic: Madame Web trailer/Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sweeney, far right, in Madame Web. Pic: Madame Web trailer/Sony Pictures Entertainment

‘She’s not pretty, she can’t act’

Baum, who also lectures at the University of Southern California went on: “I said to my class, ‘Explain this girl to me. She’s not pretty, she can’t act. Why is she so hot?’

“Nobody had an answer. But then the question was asked, ‘Well, if you could get your movie made because she was in it, would you do it?’…

“That’s a very hard question to answer because we all want to get the movie made, and who walks away from a green light? Nobody I know. Your job is to get the movie made.”

Rom com Anyone But You, which also stars actor Glen Powell, was a surprise hit taking £218m (£175m) worldwide at the box office.

‘It IS unwatchable’

Journalist Maslin later referenced the discussion on Twitter, writing: “It IS unwatchable. Carol Baum said this after we screened Dead Ringers at the Jacob Burns Film Center and she mentioned having seen Anyone But You on a plane”.

Maslin did not directly mention Baum’s comments about Sweeney’s looks or acting.

Baum has since expressed “regret” over her words, according to American celebrity gossip site TMZ.

Sky News has contacted Carol Baum for comment.


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