British actress Thandie Newton claims that she was not invited to join the powerful #TimesUp movement that swept through Hollywood and across the country because she was “not hot enough.”
Newton, 45, said she has spoken out for years about being sexually assaulted by a casting director. She recently told The Telegraph it was “very painful” to not be invited to join the movement.
“I have been an activist for 20 years. It’s been a long time coming,” she shared with The Telegraph. “I certainly agitated for it to happen sooner, but no one was interested and people thought I was a bummer. Even my publicist told me to stop talking about it because it was bad for my reputation.
“When Time’s Up was put together, to not be invited to be a part of it, was very, very painful,” Newton also told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper. “It’s hard for me, as someone who has been talking about it for a long time. … It’s lonely.”
Actress Jessica Chastain, one of the movement’s most visible leaders, retorted online to Asia Argento, who tweeted an article about Newton’s comments.
“I have felt so bad that some feel excluded,” she wrote on Twitter. “I was never asked to join anything, I just came forward to see how I could be of service. No one is unwelcome. The more women that come together, standing shoulder to shoulder, the stronger we are.”
She added, “You, and so many others, were so brave to speak up & start this movement. It is my goal to make sure it will never be in vain. I will always support you and what you did.”
Amber Tamblyn, a Time’s Up supporter who has spoken out against sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood, came a little bit stronger than Chastain, saying. “100% what Jessica said. None of us needed an invitation to do the work. We just did the work. Period. This is such a disheartening dialogue to be having with fellow women. Such a shame.”
Chastain also responded directly to Argento, saying, “I invited you to the first meeting at my house Nov 27th but unfortunately you were out of town. It wasn’t called #TimesUp cuz we didn’t have a name. It was just a group of actresses coming together to see how we could support the brave women coming forward & create lasting change.”
Argento replied, “You’ve been so kind and supportive not only to me, but to a lot of survivors. But when you invited me to your house you said it was just a lunch with actresses, not that you guys were starting a movement.”
Argento was one of hundreds of actresses who said movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted them.