Actress Blake Lively is the latest celebrity to come out and reveal details of sexual harassment at the hands of a male colleague.
The former Gossip Girl star’s revelation comes from the fallout of numerous reports regarding decades of alleged sexual misconduct by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Lively, who has a daughter with actor and husband Ryan Reynolds, spoke to the Los Angeles Times about a male make up artist she previously worked with who had repeatedly harassed her.
Lively told the LA Times:
He was saying things inappropriately, insisting on putting my lipstick on with his finger.
I was sleeping one night on location and I woke up and he was filming me. I was clothed, but it was a very voyeuristic, terrifying thing to do.
She reported the unnamed make up artist to her project producers, however – in an outcome which now seems all to tragically familiar – no action was taken.
Lively went on to say:
Finally, after three months of complaining, they called me into my trailer and said, ‘We need to talk to you’.
I thought, ‘Well finally, they’re going to do something about this man who I had to have touching me all day.’ And they said, ‘Your dog left a poop behind the toilet in your dressing room and our janitor had to pick it up. And this is very serious and we can’t have this happen again.’
It wasn't until she got her lawyers involved to address the sexual harassment allegations the producers took some form of action. The make up artist was removed from the project after an investigation.
However it was later discovered, as Lively explains, the:
… unit production manager wrote him a letter of recommendation because nobody wanted there to be bad blood.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter said she never received any unwanted sexual advances from the now-disgraced Weinstein and was unaware of his alleged behaviour.
While she was devastated by the reports she praised the bravery and courage of her fellow actresses, such as Rose McGowan who had her Twitter account temporarily suspended, who have come forward to share their stories.
Speaking to THR she said:
The number one thing that can happen is that people who share their stories, people have to listen to them and trust them, and people have to take it seriously.
As important as it is to remain furious about this, it's important to also say that this exists everywhere, so remember to look everywhere. This isn't a single incident. This cannot happen, this should not happen, and it happens in every single industry.
Since the revelation concerning the allegations against Weinstein the Hollywood producer has been fired from his own film production company and is currently under investigation.
While it looks like the chickens are finally coming home to roost for Weinstein, the allegation of decades of sexual abuse only highlights a systematic problem in Hollywood – and for that matter, show business in general – which is common knowledge within the industry yet only made public after a long period of neglect.
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, then help is available. Visit the Samaritans website for further details.