Salma Hayek’s Harvey Weinstein Op-Ed Is Inspiring Others to Speak Out
In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body."
“Harvey Weinstein was a passionate cinephile, a risk taker, a patron of talent in film, a loving father and a monster. For years, he was my monster.”
That’s how actress and co-founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE Salma Hayek Pinault begins her powerful op-ed in the New York Times, in which she details being threatened, coerced, and manipulated by film producer Harvey Weinstein.
“I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,” Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual assault by more than 30 women, once told her. Another time, he threatened to pull her film “Frida” if the actress didn’t agree to film a nude scene.
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Weinstein’s abuse against Hayek never escalated to a physical level, but the producer propositioned her on multiple occasions — sometimes late at night. To him, Hayek writes, she was not an actress, but merely a sexualized object.
“In his eyes, I was not an artist. I wasn’t even a person. I was a thing: not a nobody, but a body,” she writes.
The New York Times first published sexual assault allegations against Weinstein on Oct. 5, and since then, many other notable actress have spoken out against him, including Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Lupita Nyong'o and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The article helped fuel the #MeToo movement, which saw hundreds of thousands of women around the world speak out about sexual assault on social media platforms from Twitter to Instagram. Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including goal number five: gender equality. You can take action here.
Hayek’s allegations against Weinstein has again added nuance to the discussion that has dominated news in the latter half of 2017 and led TIME Magazine to label “The Silence Breakers” as its Person of the Year.
Hayek writes about the persistent lack of female directors in the film industry. According to one study she cites, just 4% of 1,000 top films from 2007-2016 featured a female director.
Her story also paints a devastating picture of the hyper-sexualization of female bodies in the film industry. In fact, according to a different study not cited by Hayek, women were three times more likely than men to appear nude or partially nude in movies.
For many women, Hayek’s op-ed resonated in more ways than one — and many spoke out on social media in support of the actress.
Here are some of the most powerful responses:
If you want to know what my early years in comics were like, read this article by Salma Hayek about her experiences with Harvey Weinstein. She can talk. I can't. I signed an NDA. But my experiences were of a kind. And worse. https://t.co/zR4AZ9Y9Rd— Colleen Doran (@ColleenDoran) December 13, 2017
I ask all of our male allies in this industry, why have your journeys been so different from ours?— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) December 13, 2017
I thank you @salmahayek for sharing your story. Your voice is important and needed right now. You are creating a place of great healing 🌿 https://t.co/Lp8s4ixTlH
A powerful, powerful essay by Salma Hayek on both her abuse from Harvey and the abuse of Hollywood which shuts women’s voices down. And HARVEY, if you’re reading this, YOU making her do that scene is called RAPE. https://t.co/KFWYUWiplS— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) December 13, 2017
Salma Hayek’s essay on Weinstein is just searing. This is an entire generation of actresses. https://t.co/SvKnfhq4yB— jodikantor (@jodikantor) December 13, 2017
The details in these Weinstein pieces by Lupita Nyong'o https://t.co/p9NF1RzLgT and Salma Hayek break my heart. https://t.co/YXUR1Z2QXk The barriers women of color face when it comes to telling their stories is unacceptable and must change. Powerfully affected by their words. https://t.co/bwg3AfDpbL— Mo Ryan (@moryan) December 13, 2017
Salma Hayek cutting to the heart of the matter. The exclusion of women in the film industry is deliberate. pic.twitter.com/8N9scGWlIO— Women Film Directors (@women_direct) December 13, 2017
the fact that Harvey Weinstein told Salma Hayek that her portrayal of Frida (the unibrow and limp) weren't sexy enough and forced her to do a nude scene is everything wrong with Hollywood and its treatment of Latina artists— cindy lou whomst (@_chismosa_) December 13, 2017
She may not call them microaggressions but the idea that Salma Hayek was an untalented nobody only good for her sex appeal is uniquely tied to society's dismissal, objectification, and low regard for women of color.— Nadra Nittle (@NadraKareem) December 13, 2017
Salma Hayek's NYTimes piece moved me to tears. There are so many latent ways that women are gutted by the slippery slope of sexual harassment and the desire to please and justify. We are done apologizing.— Allison Winn Scotch (@aswinn) December 13, 2017