The Elle Women in Hollywood event became a platform for actresses across Hollywood to speak about the sexual harassment in Hollywood.
“This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, and a lot of situations and a lot of industries are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths,” said Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon to People.com. Witherspoon was referring to the recent Harvey Weinstein sexual assault accusations.
The New Yorker revealed 13 new accounts of women accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault and rape. A spokesperson for Weinstein told The New Yorker, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
Witherspoon then brought out her own story of sexual assault by a director when she was just 16, “I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I’ve been having about anxiety, honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier.”
Jennifer Lawrence was another actress who used this event to speak about her experience when she was just starting out and producers told her she needed to lose 15-pounds, according to People.com, “During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much, thinner than me. We all stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates.”
Despite the unsettling stories that have come out amongst both actors and actresses, Witherspoon and Lawrence had found it comforting and empowering that their stories would be heard.
“…after hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight about things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not to talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I actually felt less alone this week than I have ever felt in my entire career,” Witherspoon told People.
In light of the Weinstein allegations, actresses across Hollywood are joining together to put an end to sexual assault using their platforms to give women and girls across the nation a voice.
You are able to spread the awareness of sexual assault across social media by using the hashtag, “#MeToo”.