Anna Sheffer
April 24, 2018 11:26 am

Over the past six months, sexual harassment and assault have become widely discussed thanks to the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. However, for all the good the initiatives have done in expanding the conversation about sexual abuse, they still have their critics. Westworld star Thandie Newton claims that her own sexual harassment was ignored by the Time’s Up movement. Newton, who plays Maeve on the hit HBO series, told Australia’s Herald Sun that, after being sexually harassed by casting directors as a young adult, it felt “very painful” to be left out of the Time’s Up movement.

“When Time’s Up was put together, to not be invited to be a part of it, was very, very painful,” she told the publication. “It’s hard for me, as someone who has been talking about it for a long time… it’s lonely.”

In a separate interview published on April 23rd, the U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph asked Newton why she felt her story had been largely left out of the Time’s Up narrative. Newton speculated that it was because she “wasn’t mainstream enough” at the time and didn’t attend the 2018 Oscars, even though she noted she is “having a renaissance” in her career thanks to Westworld.

John Lamparski/WireImage via Getty Images

Newton has been candid about the harassment she’s faced in the industry since July 2016, when she told W Magazine that when she was 18, a director filmed up her skirt during a callback and asked her to touch her breasts in a sexual manner. She said that she later learned the same director showed the footage to his friends during parties.

Time’s Up was founded in late 2017, more than a year after Newton spoke up about her own harassment. The movement was originally created by the National Women’s Law Center as a legal defense fund and was championed during the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, when many celebrities wore black in support. The Time’s Up website states that the movement’s goal is to enable women from all fields and backgrounds to find legal support in this fight.

Every survivor of sexual assault or harassment deserves to be heard. To all those speaking up, no matter what your background, rest assured that we are listening.

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