By this point, the sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul and film producer Harvey Weinstein are well-known but victims are still coming forth with disturbing stories that have made them exclaim #MeToo. The latest harrowing account of dealing with this alleged sexual abuser comes from Salma Hayek—who just penned an Op-Ed for The New York Times about what it was like to work with the disgraced Weinstein during the filming of her 2002 Oscar-winning biopic Frida. And the details are not pretty.
During and after production, Weinstein seems to have made Hayek’s life a living hell. He threatened to shut down production, insulted her acting ability, and would become enraged and aggressive on more than one occasion. But it was his sexual demands, demands that Hayek detailed as examples of when she had to say the word “no” over and over again, that are truly obscene.
“No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with. No to me taking a shower with him. No to letting him watch me take a shower. No to letting him give me a massage. No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage. No to letting him give me oral sex. No to my getting naked with another woman.”
In a last horrific admission, Hayek wrote that Weinstein had a particular demand about Frida that she finally gave in to: “He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman.” Before filming she said she had a nervous breakdown. During filming of the scene, she wrote about being troubled: “It was not because I would be naked with another woman. It was because I would be naked with her for Harvey Weinstein. But I could not tell them then.”
As more and more details emerge about Weinstein’s sexual allegations in Hollywood, it is difficult to not be continuously horrified about the latest scandal. As Hayek writes, “for years, he was my monster” and he was a monster to many women.
In her candid op-ed, Hayek also speaks to the struggle of sharing her story, something that many victims of bullying, assault, and harassment, can relate to. “[This was] an episode in my life that, although painful, I thought I had made peace with. I had brainwashed myself into thinking that it was over and that I had survived; I hid from the responsibility to speak out with the excuse that enough people were already involved in shining a light on my monster. I didn’t consider my voice important, nor did I think it would make a difference.”
Ultimately, Hayek saw how important it would be to add her voice and stand with the other strong women who’ve come forward, especially at a time such as this. “I am inspired by those who had the courage to speak out, especially in a society that elected a president who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than a dozen women and whom we have all heard make a statement about how a man in power can do anything he wants to women.
Well, not anymore.”
Exactly! Not anymore. But as Hayek states, in order for us to be sure that this level of abuse doesn’t continue, it will take equally the playing field and distributing power in male-dominated industries.
“Until there is equality in our industry, with men and women having the same value in every aspect of it, our community will continue to be a fertile ground for predators.”
Thankfully, more women (and men) are coming forward with stories about the sexual assault and harassment they have faced from powerful men. Together we will show that this behavior will not be tolerated or accepted.
For Salma Hayek, fans are reacting to her Op-Ed by showing her their undying love and support.
This is so distressing to read. A psychotic level of bullying.
Salma Hayek: Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too https://t.co/AjKqSb5bff
— Julian Gough (@juliangough) December 13, 2017
— Diego Rendón (@jamescrendon) December 13, 2017
Gracias por contar tu historia, @salmahayek. Me dolió en el alma, pero ahora te respeto aun mas. Has peleado, y lo has echo con una gracia única. Voy a ver Frida hoy con nueva admiración. A Harvey y todos los desgraciados que tienen la audacia de meterse con nosotras: No mas.
— ecleen (@ecleenluzmila) December 13, 2017