Ellen Page took to Facebook to publish her encounters in Hollywood where she experienced sexual harassment and assault, alleging that director Brett Ratner told a woman to have sex with her to make the young actress realize she’s gay.
“You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay,” Ratner — who is currently the subject of several sexual harassment and assault allegations — told a woman ten years Page’s senior to do before they began filming X Men: The Last Stand.
Page, who was only 18 years old at the time, writes in painful detail her experiences and the effect it had on her own coming out.
“I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself,” writes Page. “I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either.”
“This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He “outed” me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic.”
X-Men star and bisexual actress Anna Paquin took to Twitter to show her support, and to confirm that she was present when the comments were made.
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) November 10, 2017
Page also mentioned other acts of harassment Ratner perpetuated, including commenting that another woman had a “flappy pussy.”
Ellen Page continues:
I have been a professional actor since the age of ten. I’ve had the good fortune to work with many honorable and respectful collaborators both behind and in front of the camera. But the behavior I’m describing is ubiquitous. They (abusers), want you to feel small, to make you insecure, to make you feel like you are indebted to them, or that your actions are to blame for their unwelcome advances.
When I was sixteen a director took me to dinner (a professional obligation and a very common one). He fondled my leg under the table and said, “You have to make the move, I can’t.” I did not make the move and I was fortunate to get away from that situation. It was a painful realization: my safety was not guaranteed at work. An adult authority figure for whom I worked intended to exploit me, physically. I was sexually assaulted by a grip months later. I was asked by a director to sleep with a man in his late twenties and to tell them about it. I did not. This is just what happened during my sixteenth year, a teenager in the entertainment industry.
Look at the history of what’s happened to minors who’ve described sexual abuse in Hollywood. Some of them are no longer with us, lost to substance abuse and suicide. Their victimizers? Still working. Protected even as I write this.
It is worth reading her entire post in full, but this specific part is an important highlight:
What are we afraid to say and why can’t we say it? Women, particularly the most marginalized, are silenced, while powerful abusers can scream as loudly as they want, lie as much as they want and continue to profit through it all.
This is a long awaited reckoning. It must be.