"In their mind it was completely normal."
In an interview with the Telegraph, actress Jessica Chastain reveals that early on in her career, she was “kind of spanked” on set by a big name in the business.
“I won’t say who, but I’ve been on a movie where someone very important… I had been walking down the hall and they kind of spanked me on the butt. And I did turn around and say, ‘Did you just spank me?’ I was really upset about it. But in their mind it was completely normal. It was fine behavior,” she tells the Telegraph. Behavior, she says, that "happens all the time."
Sexual harassment in Hollywood has become headline news in recent years. Bill O'Reilly left Fox News in April after allegations of sexual harassment and subsequent settlements resurfaced, costing the news network advertisers. This came a year after the former CEO Roger Ailes was forced to leave the network in 2016 after former host Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment.
The actor Casey Affleck has been accused twice of sexual harassment by women who worked with him on a film in 2010, although both were settled out of court—making many disappointed by his 2017 Oscar win. Not to mention the dozens of women who came forward against Bill Cosby over the course of several decades, accusing him of drugging and raping them—charges that he is battling in court, according to the New York Times. All four of these men have denied any wrongdoing.
Actresses are now speaking out about their experiences. Ashley Judd told Variety in 2015 that she was sexually harassed by a studio executive, saying, "It took years before I could evaluate that incident and realize that there was something incredibly wrong and illegal about it." Rose McGowan revealed on Twitter in 2016 that she was raped by a studio executive.
Jessica, meanwhile, has had enough. “Probably now it would never happen to me because I’m really… I’m not a shrinking violet. If I see behavior against me, or against anyone, that is unjust, then I will absolutely say something,” she tells the Telegraph. Although whether you're a "shrinking violent" or not, sexual harassment can happen to anyone—and it's always wrong.