By now it’s safe to assume every female actor in Hollywood has experienced harassment—actually, just assume every female everywhere—but it’s always more helpful to hear it from them directly, in dispiriting detail. This afternoon Ellen Page joined the fray with a lengthy Facebook post sharing her experiences working for one of the accused, Brett Ratner, and some other grossly inappropriate situations she experienced as a teenager working in Hollywood. Known dickbag Ratner—who’s suing one of the women who accused him of rape, by the way—began his professional relationship with an 18-year-old Page on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand this way:
“You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.” He said this about me during a cast and crew “meet and greet” before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand. I was eighteen years old. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: “You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.” He was the film’s director, Brett Ratner.
Ratner didn’t understand why, later in the production, Page refused to wear a “Team Ratner” T-shirt, for which she was reprimanded by the film’s producers. Again, she was 18 and “had no tools to know how to handle the situation,” Page writes, so imagine what it must’ve been like for her at 16, when all of this happened:
When I was sixteen a director took me to dinner (a professional obligation and a very common one). He fondled my leg under the table and said, “You have to make the move, I can’t.” I did not make the move and I was fortunate to get away from that situation. It was a painful realization: my safety was not guaranteed at work. An adult authority figure for whom I worked intended to exploit me, physically. I was sexually assaulted by a grip months later. I was asked by a director to sleep with a man in his late twenties and to tell them about it. I did not. This is just what happened during my sixteenth year, a teenager in the entertainment industry.
Should anyone think this sort of thing is an unfortunate aberration, Page writes, “The behavior I’m describing is ubiquitous.” Later she addresses her participation in the 2012 Woody Allen film To Rome With Love:
I did a Woody Allen movie and it is the biggest regret of my career. I am ashamed I did this. I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because “of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.” Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice. I made an awful mistake.
The entire post—embeded below—is worth a read, as Page goes into the struggle for women’s, queer, and trans rights, the resources her privilege affords her, the people who blazed a trail for her, and her angst about being unable to share everything she knows or has heard. Which is a helpful reminder: This is just the beginning. These stories will only grow more numerous.