For decades, numerous actresses have shared Hollywood horror stories about the sexual abuse and sexual assaults that they’ve experienced from men in power in the film and TV industry. And while many would like to think that things have gotten better for women in the industry, stories like the latest testimony from veteran actress Thandie Newton prove that we still have a long way to go when it comes to protecting actors, especially women, from being preyed upon in the entertainment industry.
According to media reports, Newton recently opened up about her early years in Hollywood and she explained how she was taken advantage of by a director during one of her early casting calls.
“A director, on a callback, had a camera shooting up my skirt and asked me to touch my tits and think about the guy making love to me in the scene. I thought, ‘Ok, this is a little weird,’ but there was a female casting director in the room and I’d done weird stuff before so I did it,” Newton recalled.
However, it wasn’t until years later that a producer told her at a film festival that the director was using the recording for his own personal pleasure and that he was showing the video to several other people in the industry, as well.
“’Oh, Thandie, I’ve seen you recently!’ And he lurched away looking really shocked that he’d said that,” Newton says about the encounter. She explains that her husband approached the producer later on to find out what was going on and Newton discovered the horrible truth. “It turns out that the director was showing that audition tape to his friends after poker games at his house. And they would all get off on it.”
Newton says that the horrifying experience, though absolutely deplorable, taught her some harsh lessons about the dark side of the industry. Now, Newton says that she’s adamant about making sure that her daughters are well prepared for the dangers they may come across when they grow up.
“I was so so naïve when I started out and I realize now that we have to prepare our kids— I’ve got two beautiful daughters, one is 16 one is 11. So many people in our business, they don’t want to be the ones to say something that’s a bum out because then they become associated with a bum out and nobody wants to read about so-and-so because they’re always blabbering on about a bum out. But one person will read this and it will stop them getting sexually abused by a director. That’s the person I’m interested in,” Newton said.
What do you think of Newton’s revelation? Let us know in the comments.