Finally, we’ve entered an era where sexual harassment is being called out and Hollywood is at the forefront.
However, in an almost a bittersweet revelation the more woman becoming empowered to speak up and share their stories, the more we recognise the sad truth that sexual harassment has been happening way too often and for way too long.
With the #MeToo movement stronger than ever, another day comes another story and this time it’s Academy Award-winning actress Mira Sorvino.
Speaking on Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s HFPA In Conversation, the 50-year-old actress opened up about an audition she did back when she was 16 where the casting director was beyond inappropriate towards her.
“In order to scare me for this horror movie scene, he tied me to a chair, he bruised my arm, and I was 16 years old, and then he gagged me, and I was all game because I’m trying to be scared for the scene,” she admitted.
“And at the end, he takes the gag out of my mouth and he said, ‘Sorry for the prophylactic,’ so he had gagged me with a condom,” Mira further alleged without naming the director or the movie.
“I was too young to even know, thank god, what a condom tasted like,” she added before saying “It was so inappropriate, and what the heck was a casting director doing with a condom in his pocket in an audition?”
Unfortunately being new to the industry didn’t help. “When you’re young, you don’t question,” Mira said, explaining that when you’re new, you feel like you have to go that extra mile to prove yourself.
“There’s that aesthetic of letting go of the self and trying to submit yourself for the art. People take advantage of that. People have always taken advantage of that,” she said.
Mira addresses that this is a big part of the issue – imply that too often directors and casting agents will show bias towards those willing to offer up a sexual relationship.
Mira – who has also spoken out in the case against producer Harvey Weinstein – revealed that friends in the industry had also been ‘advised’ to offer up sex if they wanted to advance their careers.
“That was horrendous to me,” she said. “I felt that was just a betrayal of who I was as a person. If I was going to do that, I was not myself anymore, so I always refused all of those things, and lost out on certain acting opportunities in big movies because of it.”
The actress then recalled another incident with a big-name director who allegedly said to her, ‘You know, as I look at you my mind can’t help but travelling from the artistic possibilities and the sexual.’
Mira hinted that she was completely taken aback by the remark after thinking it was a legitimate casting call based on her talent and suitability to the role rather than the director, “fishing to see if I was going to have an affair.”
“I know for a fact that’s why I didn’t get that part,” she declared.