The popular actress Charlize Theron spoken in detail about the sexual harassment she experienced at the beginning of her acting career, as well as how frustrating she found the fact that she “didn’t do all of those things that we so want to believe we’ll do in those situations”.
She said while speaking to NPR in order to coincide with the release of the new drama about the removal of Fox News head Roger Ailes over accusations of sexual harassment named Bombshell. Theron plays former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly in the show, and she outlined her own harassment that involved a “very famous director” and took place in 1994. She said that she visited the famous director’s house on a Saturday night for an audition, and he “wore silk pajamas and offered her a drink and rubbed her knee”. She didn’t know the “ins and outs” of the industry, so she thought to herself that maybe that’s how they do it in the movie industry.
She added that one doesn’t know what to do in such a situation if you haven’t experienced it, as it’s very difficult to wrap your head around something like that. She said that she wasn’t even fully convinced that this was sexual harassment until later in her career. She puts a lot of blame on herself, though, and she added that she didn’t say all the right things at the moment.
Theron said that she apologized to the director that she had to leave at the moment because she was trying to remove herself from the room. Eight years later she was offered an acting job by the same director, and she decided to meet him while planning to reject the offer. She wanted to confront him and have the moment she didn’t have when he harassed her. However, when she brought up the incident, he refused to talk about it and just moved on from the conversation. She said that it was at that moment she knew that it wasn’t his first time, and that he had been doing that before, and that other women had called him out.
Unfortunately, the actress didn’t have the moment she wanted, and she notes that this often happens with sexual harassment victims. Many victims “dream” of the moment where they feel like the tables are reversed, but, sadly, it rarely happens.