It’s been just over a year since the #MeToo movement took the cultural landscape by storm, shining a long-needed light on the sexual harassment and assault that women (and men) face every single day. And while countless women have come forward with their stories, actress Megan Fox recently explained why she chose not to share her #MeToo experiences in a December 7th interview with The New York Times. Fox firmly believed she would be victim-shamed.
“I didn’t speak out for many reasons” she said. “I just didn’t think based on how I’d been received by people, and by feminists, that I would be a sympathetic victim. And I thought if ever there were a time where the world would agree that it’s appropriate to victim-shame someone, it would be when I come forward with my story.”
Fox has spoken about uncomfortable on-set experiences in the past (she once opened up about a time on the set of Bad Boys 2 when she was forced to stand under a shower in high heels at just 15 years old, and another time when director Michael Bay directed her to act “hotter” and “sexier” on set). But ultimately, she felt she was shamed for her candor in the pre-#MeToo climate.
It’s disheartening to know that Fox feels this way, but we get it. The #MeToo movement hasn’t just challenged the way we look at predators; it’s challenged the way we look at victims—specifically at how our culture shamed and blamed women who spoke up about their experiences in the past and sometimes presently, too.
Let’s use her words as a reminder to continue to believe and support victims when they come forward with their stories—and that no one ever “has it coming” when it comes to sexual harassment or assault. Because the alternative is unacceptable.