Charlize Theron has been naming the director who sexually harassed her, but she says she’s been silenced
When Charlize Theron was still the new kid on the Hollywood block in 1994, she says a famous director invited her to his home to audition for a part. When she arrived, the director was wearing his pajamas and had a drink in hand. The “audition” ended with him touching Theron’s leg, and her leaving after apologizing to him. Now, in a new interview with NPR, Theron revealed that this director has remained nameless, despite her telling media outlets who he was. Throughout the years, she says that journalists have made the decision to protect this director, and it’s not okay.
“In sexual harassment, you’re always waiting for that moment where there’s full closure, where you feel like you’ve actually…had your moment, where you get to say your piece,” Theron told NPR on December 16th. “And that never really happens…You never get that moment where you feel like the tables are reversed and now he’s finally getting it.”
In the interview, Theron talked about her new movie Bombshell, which centers on the real-world story of the women who worked to take down Roger Ailes at Fox. In the movie, Theron plays Megyn Kelly, who accused Ailes of sexual harassment. In real life, Theron has been talking about her own sexual harassment experiences to no avail.
"I actually did disclose his name," she said of the director who harassed her. "You don't know that because every time I disclosed his name, the journalist made the decision to not write his name, and it goes to show just how deeply systemic this problem is."
The Bombshell actress said that she remembers the first time someone asked her if she ever had a “casting couch experience,” as these Hollywood sexual harassment events are dubbed.
"I openly shared the experience and named him, and the person decided to not write his name," Theron said. It was only until the Harvey Weinstein story broke that people began talking about Theron's story again. However, "[the story] popped up everywhere, and nowhere could you find this guy's name. And it was incredibly upsetting to me," she told NPR.
So, will Theron ever disclose his name again? She says, not now. But some day.
"I know that, if I said his name again while I'm promoting this film, that it would take over the importance of this story and that would become the story," she told the outlet. "I think there will be a time and a place where I will definitely share this...I've always been honest about it. I don't have a desire to protect him, but I also don't want him to overshadow this film right now."
“So there will be a right time where I will talk about this again,” she concluded, “and I will say his name, yes.”
After watching the Harvey Weinstein takedown, and having relived the Roger Ailes story in the shoes of Megyn Kelly via Bombshell, Theron is hopeful that consequences will finally be dished out to the men who deserve them.
“This is really the first moment in my life where I see that maybe there can be real consequences for people with these actions.” We, like Theron, certainly hope so.