The Israel-born American actress Natalie Portman said she has “a hundred stories” about sexual harassment in Hollywood.
“When I heard everything coming out, I was like, wow, I’m so lucky that I haven’t had this. And then, on reflection, I was like, okay, definitely never been assaulted, definitely not, but I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way,” said Portman on Sunday, addressing a Los Angeles festival organized by the entertainment website Vulture.
“I went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, Oh wait, I have 100 stories. And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process,” said the actress, who has starred in movies including “Black Swan” and “Jackie.”
A slew of high-profile Hollywood figures have been accused of sexual misconduct in a wave that began when dozens of sexual harassment allegations were reported last month against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Giving an example of what could have turned into sexual harassment, Portman said a producer once invited her to fly with him and his company on a private plane to a place she was also going. “I showed up and it was just the two of us, and one bed was made on the plane. Nothing happened, I was not assaulted. I said: ‘This doesn’t make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected. But that was super not okay, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative and could have been — I was scared, you know? But just the fact of any woman, if you’re walking down the street alone at night, you feel scared, and I’m not sure guys know what that [feels like].”
Portman said she was usually the only woman on set and that if there were others, they were usually from the “stereotypical departments” of makeup, hair and wardrobe.
“The surprising thing is it almost feels strategic to keep you away from other women, because you don’t have the opportunity to share stories. All these accusations are like, ‘Oh yeah, everyone was isolated from each other,’ people didn’t share. They didn’t realize that there were hundreds of people with similar stories.”
Movie personalities accused of sexual misconduct since the Weinstein affair broke include actors Ben Affleck, Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Tambor, and Ed Westwick, producers Brett Ratner and Andrew Kreisberg, and director James Toback.