TWILIGHT star Elizabeth Reaser feels women continue to be "very vulnerable" in showbiz and the string of sexual misconduct cases coming out of Hollywood doesn't surprise her. The American actress says she is glad that people found the courage to speak up against the "heart-breaking and horrific truth of our world".
The actress, who has been part of projects like THE GOOD WIFE and OUJJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL" — which was aired in India on Sony PIX last month — feels the whole "dynamic is always tricky when a majority of people in power are men".
"Nothing about it surprises me. What surprises me is that people care to be honest; maybe that is a dark view, but I think it is an old story for women," Reaser, 42, told IANS in a recorded response from Los Angeles.
"Women have been dealing with this in every industry since the beginning of time. It is a really challenging and scary thing to speak up. It is such an act of courage."
"Usually people don't believe you, or you become a victim again by sharing the story. There is backlash. There are things that you can't anticipate… that can go wrong by sharing the story. I really feel grateful to the people who have come forward because it is a heart-breaking and horrific truth of our world and the whole world in general.
"Women are still very vulnerable in show business because being a young or not-so-young woman, who wants to get a job, puts you in a vulnerable position. I think that dynamic is always tricky when a majority of people in power are men," the actress added.
From Harvey Weinstein, Ben Affleck, Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Dustin Hoffman, James Toback to Kevin Spacey, several men from Hollywood have been accused of sexual assault and harassment. It all started with numerous women coming forward to allege that Hollywood mogul Weinstein used his position to harass them.
Reaser feels the outcry over the sexual harassment scandals will "make predators rethink some of their behaviour" and be "less inclined to these acts".
"It is really up to us going forward on how one makes these decisions. Who do we want to put in power and in the power to tell stories or use the power to tell the stories… Hopefully, we will make everyone more accountable in every department because it is not just actresses (who are getting exploited).
"It is not just film industry. It is every industry around the world. The more we talk about it the more powerful it makes us all."
Reaser, who has also featured in MIND THE GAP, LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT, GREY'S ANATOMY and MAD MEN, asserts that "we have been in this culture where we have allowed this kind of behaviour and these kinds of crimes, and just looked the other way".
"I hope things really change now," she said.
Reaser began her career in theatre and started making appearances in films and television from 2000.
How does she rate her work?
"I am pretty hard on myself whenever I watch myself. I don't watch myself because I will have a lot of regrets. There is always that voice in your head saying that 'I could have done better'," she noted.
On the work front, she is now part of Netflix show "Easy" and "The Haunting of Hill House".
[By Sugandha Rawal]