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Witherspoon, Lawrence On How They Were Sexually Harassed In Early Years

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Hollywood stars Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence recently spoke about the sexual harassment they have had to face in their early years.

At the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards on Monday (Oct 16), Witherspoon said that the allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein prompted her experiences to come back to her. She said she had “true disgust for the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment”.

Witherspoon did not name the director. She said that she felt anxiety about speaking out and taking action. “I wish I could tell you that that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly, it wasn’t. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault, and I don’t speak about them very often,” she said

Lawrence spoke out at the same awards show. She spoke about a degrading and humiliating experience in her early career where she was forced to lose 15 pounds in two weeks for a role.

A producer then forced her to pose naked amongst thinner women for photos. The producer said that this would serve as inspiration for her diet.

Lawrence said that as a young star, she didn’t want to say no. It wasn’t until she was an A-list star that she felt she had the power to say no, she says

“I was trapped and I can see that now,” Lawrence added. “I didn’t want to be a whistle-blower. I didn’t want these embarrassing stories talked about in a magazine. I just wanted a career.”

She has vowed to be an advocate for anyone who feels threatened in the industry.

“We will stop this kind of behaviour from happening. We will stop normalizing these horrific situations. We will change this narrative and make a difference for all of those individuals pursuing their dreams.”

Also Read: Harvey Weinstein fired from Motion Pictures Academy