Allegations of Harvey Weinstein's despicable behaviour have launched a massive discussion of sexism, abuse of power and misogyny in the entertainment industry. Detailing that corruption, Canadian actor, writer and director Sarah Polley has written a new op-ed about her own bad experiences in Hollywood.
Polley's piece, entitled "The Men You Meet Making Movies," ran in the New York Times yesterday (October 14). In it, Polley details meeting Weinstein when she was just 19.
Here's an excerpt of how she describes meeting the notorious producer:
When I got there, Mr. Weinstein wasted no time. He told me, in front of the publicist and a co-worker beside him, that a famous star, a few years my senior, had once sat across from him in the chair I was in now. Because of his "very close relationship" with this actress, she had gone on to play leading roles and win awards. If he and I had that kind of "close relationship," I could have a similar career. "That's how it works," I remember him telling me. The implication wasn't subtle. I replied that I wasn't very ambitious or interested in acting, which was true. He then asked me about my political activism and went on to recast himself as a left-wing activist, which was among the funniest things I'd ever heard.
She added that "Harvey Weinstein may be the central-casting version of a Hollywood predator, but he was just one festering pustule in a diseased industry," alleging that other directors have demanded she sit on their lap and routinely commented on her appearance in an overly sexual manner.
Then, Polley revealed that she's always known about Weinstein's misdeeds with the following statement:
Here is an unsettling problem that I am left with now: Like so many, I knew about him. And not just from my comparatively tame meeting with him. For years, I heard the horrible stories that are now chilling so many people to their core. Like so many, I didn't know what to do with all of it. I've grown up in this industry, surrounded by predatory behavior, and the idea of making people care about it seemed as distant an ambition as pulling the sun out of the sky.
Read the full piece here.