There is no respite for director Brett Ratner as accusations against him are coming thick and fast. Ellen Page had worked with him earlier, and she has now said that he outed her and in a very wrong way on the X-Men 3 set. At that time she was just an 18 year old and wasn’t even sure about her sexuality. This is what she said about that incident in a Facebook post recently.
“‘You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.’ He said this about me during a cast and crew “meet and greet” before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand. I was eighteen years old. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior pointed to me and said: ‘You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.’ He was the film’s director, Brett Ratner. I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic. I proceeded to watch him on set say degrading things to women. I remember a woman walking by the monitor as he made a comment about her ‘flappy pussy…’ I got into an altercation with Brett at a certain point. He was pressuring me, in front of many people, to don a t-shirt with ‘Team Ratner’ on it. I said no, and he insisted. I responded, ‘I am not on your team.’ Later in the day, producers of the film came to my trailer to say that I ‘couldn’t talk like that to him.’ I was being reprimanded, yet he was not being punished nor fired for the blatantly homophobic and abusive behavior we all witnessed. I was an actor that no one knew. I was eighteen and had no tools to know how to handle the situation.”
We have also seen actresses Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn allege sexual misconduct by Brett Ratner. Subsequently, his Hugh Hefner biopic was rejected. This has all happened in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal which has seen a lot of men and women come out to reveal stories about their harassment by various Hollywood figures including Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman, and comedian Louis C.K.
Ellen Page went on to talk about her Hollywood career which has been full of sexual harassment. In a lengthy post, she narrated an incident that happened when she was only 16. The culprit was a director with whom she went out for dinner, however, in this case, she refused to name the person.
“When I was sixteen a director took me to dinner (a professional obligation and a very common one). He fondled my leg under the table and said, ‘You have to make the move, I can’t.’ I did not make the move, and I was fortunate to get away from that situation. It was a painful realization: my safety was not guaranteed at work. An adult authority figure for whom I worked intended to exploit me, physically. I was sexually assaulted by a grip months later. I was asked by a director to sleep with a man in his late twenties and to tell them about it. I did not. This is just what happened during my sixteenth year, a teenager in the entertainment industry.”
Through her post, Ellen Page has described in detail about the problems prevalent in Hollywood for a long time. She also said that working with Woody Allen on To Rome With Love was her biggest regret. Finally, she exhorted others to act.
“What I want the most, is for this to result in healing for the victims. For Hollywood to wake up and start taking some responsibility for how we all have played a role in this. I want us to reflect on this endemic issue and how this power dynamic of abuse leads to an enormous amount of suffering. Violence against women is an epidemic in this country and around the world. How is this cascade of immorality and injustice shaping our society? One of the greatest risks to a pregnant woman’s health in the United States is murder. Trans women of color in this country have a life expectancy of thirty-five. Why are we not addressing this as a society? We must remember the consequences of such actions. Mental health issues, suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, to name a few. What are we afraid to say and why can’t we say it? Women, particularly the most marginalized, are silenced, while powerful abusers can scream as loudly as they want, lie as much as they want and continue to profit through it all. This is a long-awaited reckoning. It must be. It’s sad that”codes of conduct” have to be enforced to ensure we experience fundamental human decency and respect. Inclusion and representation are the answer. We’ve learned that the status quo perpetuates unfair, victimizing behavior to protect and perpetuate itself. Don’t allow this behavior to be normalized. Don’t compare wrongs or criminal acts by their degrees of severity. Don’t allow yourselves to be numb to the voices of victims coming forward. Don’t stop demanding our civil rights. I am grateful to anyone and everyone who speaks out against abuse and trauma they have suffered. You are breaking the silence. You are revolution.”
While these allegations are terrible and we don’t see this juggernaut stopping anytime soon as the monster has come out in the open and change is needed. The encouragement is here for actresses like Ellen Page to talk. Even if this has been going on for a long time, change is coming. Go ahead and look at Ellen Page’s Facebook to check the whole thing: