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Since The New York Times and The New Yorker published stories about Harvey Weinstein’s decades of alleged sexual misconduct, many celebrities have voiced support for the ousted producer’s accusers. But Blake Lively says that’s not enough.
“It’s more than just, ‘Oh, we’re talking about it and we’re supporting it,’ it’s action,” she said Monday on Good Morning America. “Everybody says that they stand in solidarity, but you have to show that you stand in solidarity.”
Her call to action, which was applauded and cheered by the studio audience, was the conclusion of a thoughtful impromptu speech about how to address the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
“I think it’s important we acknowledge this isn’t just Hollywood,” Lively began. “This is so much more global. And it’s not just, ‘Oh, guess what, this is what’s happening to women suddenly.’ This has been happening since the beginning of time, but now people are finally talking about it and I think that’s what’s important.”
Lively added just because one isn’t personally a victim of sexual harassment or assault, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
“Where I never had experiences like this with Harvey myself, I only
had positive ones with him, but that goes to show where you don’t
always see what goes on behind closed doors. So I think that when
people come forward, your bosses have to acknowledge it. There’s been
moments when I’ve come forward, other people have come forward with
things that just feel a little [inappropriate] and you’re not sure,
but when your bosses tell you that this is not priority to them, then
you think, ‘Okay, well this must not be that big of a deal. Maybe what
I’m complaining about isn’t really that big of a deal.’ And it is.”
Lively has revealed her own experiences with reporting sexual harassment, only to get blown off by her employers. Last week, she told The Los Angeles Times about a makeup artist who harassed her by filming her while she was sleeping. When she reported him to the project’s producers, however, they failed to take any action, she said. The makeup artist was only removed after her lawyer got involved and prompted the producers to begin an investigation. And he left with a letter of recommendation, she told the LA Times.
Previously, Lively had spoken about the importance of believing people like herself and Weinstein’s accusers, who include Gwyneth Paltrow and Rose McGowan, when they speak out about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault. “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,” she told The Hollywood Reporter last Tuesday. “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.”