There’s been a lot of talk lately about sexism in Hollywood. While we’re continually disappointed to hear about the despicable way women are sometimes treated in the film industry, it’s good that powerful female actors are coming forward and bringing this important discussion to forefront.
In a recent interview with W Magazine, Thandie Newton shared a horrifying story about a Hollywood producer who sexually abused her during an audition. Newton says, “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 did not name the filmmaker, and even though the scenario clearly made her uncomfortable, she didn’t realize just how awful his behavior was until after the fact.
Years later at a film festival, a producer who’d had too much to drink admitted that he’d recently seen the footage from her audition. “’Oh, Thandie, I’ve seen you recently!’ And he lurched away looking really shocked that he’d said that,” Newton shared. Her husband confronted the producer and uncovered the rest of the story. Newton said, “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.”
UGH. What a horrible violation. We’re even more disappointed to think that something like this could happen when a female casting director was in the room at the time of the taping.