With an Instagram post Thursday, Kate Beckinsale became the latest actress to accuse influential Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.
Beckinsale, known for leading roles in the Underworld film series and Van Helsing, wrote online that she was first introduced to Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior at her first meeting with him, when she was just 17.
“I assumed it would be in a conference room,” she wrote, “which was very common. When I arrived, reception told me to go to his room.”
I was called to meet Harvey Weinstein at the Savoy Hotel when I was 17. I assumed it would be in a conference room which was very common.When I arrived ,reception told me to go to his room . He opened the door in his bathrobe . I was incredibly naive and young and it did not cross my mind that this older ,unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him .After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left ,uneasy but unscathed.A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting .I realized he couldn't remember if he had assaulted me or not .I had what I thought were boundaries – I said no to him professionally many times over the years-some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a cunt and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh "Kate lives to say no to me ." It speaks to the status quo in this business that I was aware that standing up for myself and saying no to things,while it did allow me to feel uncompromised in myself,undoubtedly harmed my career and was never something I felt supported by anyone other than my family.I would like to applaud the women who have come forward , and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers,managers,executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said " well, that's just Harvey /Mr X/insert name here " will realize that we in numbers can affect real change.For every moment like this there have been thousands where a vulnerable person has confided outrageous unprofessional behavior and found they have no recourse, due to an atmosphere of fear that it seems almost everyone has been living in .I had a male friend who, based on my experience,warned a young actress who said she was going to dinner with Harvey to be careful. He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film ;the girl was already sleeping with Harvey and had told him that my friend had warned her off.Let's stop allowing our young women to be sexual cannon fodder,and let's remember that Harvey is an emblem of a system that is sick,and that we have work to do.
Beckinsale wrote that before Weinstein came out to meet her in his bathrobe, it never occurred to her that this “unattractive man would expect me to have any sexual interest in him.”
She claimed she left the meeting “uneasy but unscathed” after turning down his request to drink alcohol and telling him she had to go to school the next day. The harassment, she wrote, continued in the following years.
“I had what I thought were boundaries — I said no to him professionally many times over the years,” she wrote, “– some of which ended up with him screaming at me calling me a c— and making threats, some of which made him laughingly tell people oh ‘Kate lives to say no to me.'”
According to The Independent, Beckinsale declined multiple offers throughout the years to work on films for Miramax, the studio Weinstein co-founded.
Beckinsale referred to “the status quo in this business” in writing that, although she was able to stand up for herself, the events with Weinstein “undoubtedly harmed” her career.
She went on to recall the supposed experience of a male colleague who warned a young actress of Weinstein’s proclivities.
“He received a phone call the next day saying he would never work in another Miramax film,” Beckinsale wrote.
While she said she was never supported by anyone aside from those closest to her, she expressed optimism that the outspokenness of Weinstein’s alleged victims could help change things in Hollywood.
“I would like to applaud the women who have come forward, and to pledge that we can from this create a new paradigm where producers, managers, executives and assistants and everyone who has in the past shrugged and said, ‘well, that’s just Harvey/Mr. X/insert name here’ will realize that we in numbers can [effect] real change,” she wrote.
She concluded by calling Weinstein “an emblem of a system that is sick,” encouraging others in the industry that “we have work to do.”
[Featured image: YouTube/Jimmy Kimmel Live (screenshot)]