Within the wave of #MeToo articles and sexual harassment and assault allegations, it can be incredibly triggering and confusing. Many women, for instance, aren’t even aware of their own experiences with harassment since it’s so often normalized as regular behavior — and it’s easier to cope if we push it away.
Even Natalie Portman has done this. Apparently, the #MeToo movement made her realize her own experiences with sexual harassment, and that she has been abused, too. At Vulture Festival L.A. she opened up, saying:
When I heard everything coming out, I was like, wow, I’m so lucky that I haven’t had this. And then, on reflection, I was like, okay, definitely never been assaulted, definitely not, but I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way. I went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, Oh wait, I have 100 stories. And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process.
At the same event, she also described a time a producer invited her to fly with him and his company on a private plane, but when she showed up, it was just them and one bed. She said how nothing happened, but it was still an incredibly inappropriate situation:
Nothing happened, I was not assaulted. I said: ‘This doesn’t make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected. But that was super-not okay, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative and could have been—I was scared, you know?
It’s, of course, not a surprise to hear how sets are still male-dominated and female costars aren’t taken as seriously. Perhaps, finally, the #MeToo movement will set the stage for some serious, much-needed change.