Hollywood and the wider entertainment industry has begun to crack its culture of silence.
The latest allegation of sexual harassment comes from Pitch Perfect actor and comedian, Rebel Wilson.
37-year-old Wilson joined forces with the army of men and women who shared their ‘#Me too’ stories online, to out their sexual abusers, showing just how systematic abuse is in society.
She wrote how a colleague asked her to ‘stick my finger up his ass’:
A male star, in a position of power asked me to go into a room with him and then asked me repeatedly to stick my finger up his ass.
All whilst his male ‘friends’ tried to film the incident on their iPhones and laughed. I repeatedly said no and eventually got out of the room.
A male star, in a position of power asked me to go into a room with him and then asked me repeatedly to stick my finger up his ass. All whilst his male ‘friends’ tried to film the incident on their iPhones and laughed. I repeatedly said no and eventually got out of the room.
Wilson’s complaints about the incident fell on deaf ears, she explained:
I called my agent immediately and my lawyer made a complaint with the studio – basically to protect myself that in the event something similar ever occurred, I’d be able to walk out of the job and not obliged to return.
Later I was threatened by one of the star’s representatives to be nice and support the male star. I refused. The whole thing was disgusting.
I’ve told hundreds of people in the industry the story in more graphic detail basically to warn them off this individual.
Rebel also described an earlier ‘hotel room encounter’ with a ‘top director’ who she explained took advantage of her naivety.
Earlier in my career, I also had a ‘hotel room’ encounter with a top director.
I thought we were there to talk comedy.
Earlier in my career, I also had a ‘hotel room’ encounter with a top director. I thought we were there to talk comedy. Nothing physical happened because the guy’s wife called and started abusing him over the phone for sleeping with actresses and luckily she was yelling so loud…
Nothing physical happened because the guy’s wife called and started abusing him over the phone for sleeping with actresses and luckily she was yelling so loud…that I could hear her and I bolted out of there immediately.
I was so naive the thought of anything happening apart from ‘work talk’ didn’t even cross my mind.
Moving forward, Rebel said she felt ‘lucky’ to escape the incidents, adding:
I feel lucky that I grew up in a pro-female environment, going to an all-girls high school and that I have such a strong sense of self and have taken self-defense [sic] classes.
I had the ability to escape both incidents. I realize [sic] not everyone is as lucky. To hear how prevalent sexual harassment and assault is, is just so saddening.
I know my stories aren’t as horrific as other women and men have described – but if you’ve ever experienced anything like this, I feel for you and can relate on some level.
I know, moving forward, that if I witness this behavior [sic], whether it happens to me or someone I know, I will no longer be POLITE. Interpret that as you will.
Rebel’s statement is just the latest example of Hollywood’s awakening and the subsequent outpouring of support for those who’ve come forward and accused Harvey Weinstein and his cohorts of gross sexual misconduct.
Harvey Weinstein has been accused of many incidents of gross sexual misconduct – including harassment, sexual assault and rape – by over 50 women.
Many of these individuals are powerful women in the public eye, including Cara Delevingne, Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, and Reese Witherspoon.
Now, and only now with safety in numbers, have these strong women felt able to talk about the abuse they suffered, showing just how insipid and poisonous the nature of sexual abuse can be, at the hands of powerful people.
In bravely telling their stories, these women have inspired others to come forward on social media, using the hashtag ‘Me Too’, in a cathartic but horrific display of how widespread sexual abuse is in wider society too.
There’s also the deafening silence of those survivors who’ve been unable to come forward, due to their circumstances, which we would be remiss to forget.