Stars want the world to know that Harvey Weinstein isn’t the only one.
As many women have come forward in recent days with claims the movie mogul sexually harassed or assaulted them, other stars are feeling empowered to share their stories of harassment in Hollywood, pointing out that there are other predators plaguing those in the industry.
“Westworld” actress Evan Rachel Wood is the latest to speak out about the culture in show business that allowed someone like Weinstein, who has been accused of using his position at the powerful Weinstein Company to harass and proposition women, to operate unchecked for so long. Wood shared a 15-minute video on her YouTube channel in which she freely discussed the allegations against Weinstein and shared advice on what she believes needs to change.
“Speaking as a sexual assault survivor… what we should be doing is asking the right questions, talking about rape culture, talking about abuses of power, talking about the patriarchy and we should be viewing this as an opportunity to come together.”
Wood has said in the past she was raped on two separate occasions by two different people. She has not named her attackers or clarified if they had Hollywood connections. The star spoke about the fears she believes many women feel about not being believed, retaliation from their perpetrators or traumatizing themselves again.
And she isn’t the only star coming forward with non-Weinstein allegations in recent days.
Some Hollywood men have spoken out in recent days, proving women aren’t the only ones who have suffered in the industry. Both Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek alleged men in the industry mistreated them.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star, Crews, posted a series of tweets earlier this week to reveal that a Hollywood executive, who he refused to name, once groped him at a party. He said he decided to let the incident go because he didn’t want to risk ruining his career.
“He knows who he is. But [sometimes you have to] wait & compare notes w/ others who’ve been victimized in order 2gain a position of strength,” he wrote. “I understand and empathize with those who have remained silent. But Harvey Weinstein is not the only perpetrator. Hollywood is not the only business were this happens, and to the [casualties] of this behavior – you are not alone. Hopefully, me coming forward with my story will deter a predator and encourage someone who feels hopeless.”
On Tuesday, “Dawson’s Creek” star James Van Der Beek followed suit and posted a Twitter thread explaining that he too is no stranger to feeling objectified by Hollywood’s power dynamic and how difficult it is to come forward.
“I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when i was much younger…” he wrote. “I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome.”
The question remains as to whether or not celebrities coming forward en masse will affect real change in, what many are calling, Hollywood’s systemic sex abuse problem. However, many are optimistic in light of the public outcry surrounding Weinstein.
Scott Berkowitz, president of Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), which calls itself the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country, likens the outpouring of stars coming forward with their own story to similar assault scandals such as at college universities.
“They routinely thought that, because no one was reporting any assaults, that meant that their campus was completely safe and this wasn’t happening. It wasn’t until this problem started to be talked about and people started coming forward that the rush of people came. There’s safety in numbers,” he told Fox News. “The environment has changed. What we’re seeing is that the community, your friends and family are going to believe you. They’re going to be welcoming and understanding and there’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. I know it’s hard to talk about, but don’t be afraid. If you’ve experienced it, there’s a good chance that somebody you know has experienced something similar.”