EXCLUSIVE: Carey Mulligan Addresses 'Suffragette' Slave T-Shirt Controversy

by Antoinette Bueno 9:25 AM PDT, October 13, 2015
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Carey Mulligan Addresses 'Suffragette' Slave T-Shirt Controversy

Despite taking a lot of criticism, Carey Mulligan is happy to spark some important dialogue whenever she can.

Plenty of people were disappointed when Suffragette stars Meryl Streep and Mulligan recently wore T-shirts with the quote, "I'd rather be a rebel than a slave," in a photoshoot for Time Out London. Though the line is taken from a 1913 speech by British women's rights activist Emmeline Pankhurst, the T-shirt hit a sour note due to the obvious connotations to American history and slavery.

WATCH: Find out the Name of Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford's Baby Girl!

However, when ET caught up with the 30-year-old British actress at the Suffragette premiere on Monday in New York City, she acknowledged that conversations such as these should be welcomed.

"I think one of the reasons you make a film like this is to spark conversations, and you know, obviously there's sensitivities around that and and that's unfortunate and never intended," Mulligan said. "But I think the discourse is great and that's something we should encourage and not try to curve."

Still, she stressed that the film is meant to empower people, not to divide.

"But it would be a shame if that kind of muddied the narrative of what the film is about --  which is essentially about empowering women and empowering people," she added.

Suffragette, which is about the women's suffrage movement in Britain, hits theaters on Oct. 23.

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Can you believe that Mulligan -- who stunned at the premiere in a black strapless Alexander McQueen dress -- gave birth to a baby girl just three weeks ago?! The Oscar-nominated actress also revealed to ET the name of her first child with her husband, Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford, on Monday night's red carpet. Watch the video below to find out!