If any good came from the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it’s the spotlight being shined on the sexual harassment of women inside and outside Hollywood. Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence are the latest actresses to lend their voice to the #MeToo campaign to prove just how prevalent sexual assault is in our society.
In a speech at the Elle’s Women in Hollywood event on Monday night, Reese, 41, revealed that she was assaulted by a director early in her career. “I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly, and I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate,” she said. “A lot of the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action. True disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger that I felt at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment.”
Jennifer, 27, also opened up about her experiences as a teen trying to make it Hollywood and shared that she was not only sexually harassed but also body shamed when she was forced to line up naked next to “much skinnier” actresses at an audition. “After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet,” she said. And it only got worse when she went to another producer to speak out about the humiliating incident.
“He responded by telling me he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat; he thought I was perfectly ‘f–kable,'” she added. Jennifer also admitted she felt “trapped” because she was an unknown actress at the time. The #MeToo campaign has inspired more and more celebs to speak out, with America Ferrera posting on social media about being assaulted at the age of nine.
“I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking that I, a 9-year-old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man,” she wrote. “Ladies, let’s break the silence so the next generation of girls won’t have to live with this bulls–t.” Alyssa Milano, Evan Rachel Wood, Lady Gaga, and Rosario Dawson are just a few more famous names who have joined the campaign.