Though Jennifer Lawrence has stated that she wasn’t personally abused by shamed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, that doesn’t mean she’s never been a victim of sexual harassment in the industry.
In fact, years before she starred in Hunger Games, Lawrence was told horrible things by filmmakers.
The Oscar winner shared her story at the Elle Women in Hollywood event Monday night, sponsored by L’Oreal and Calvin Klein, where she took the podium to accept the magazine’s cover honor (stars including Tessa Thompson, Laura Dern and Cicely Tyson were celebrated, too).
“When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by the producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks,” she recalled. “One girl before me had already been fired for not losing enough weight fast enough, and during this time a female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side by side with only paste-ons covering our privates.”
The story gets worse.
“After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet,” Lawrence said, almost making light of the harrowing situation. “I can laugh now, it’s OK.”
As for Lawrence’s director? He didn’t help.
“He asked me to star in a porno as the character, among many other things that are too inappropriate to repeat here in this dress,” she said.
When Lawrence tried to complain about the unrealistic weight requirements, a producer basically told her the following: I don’t know why everyone thinks you’re fat. I’d sleep with you.
“I was trapped, and I can see that now. I didn’t want to be a whistleblower, I didn’t want these embarrassing stories talked about in a magazine, I just wanted a career,” she said.
Some 30 women spoke out this week to say Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. A People magazine deputy editor talks about the case and how it’s affecting Hollywood. (Oct. 13)
“In a dream world, everyone is treated with the same amount of respect. But until we reach that goal, I will lend my ear, I will lend my voice to any boy, girl, man or woman who does not feel like they can protect themselves.”
Lawrence then pledged her support to a proposed commission, spearheaded by fellow honoree Kathleen Kennedy, that aims to end sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.
“I stand here today to bring the message home and into the hearts of everyone who has felt threatened in this industry,” she said. “We will stop normalizing these horrific situations.”
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