Blake Lively has come forward with her own experience of sexual harassment in Hollywood. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Blake detailed her encounter with an inappropriate makeup artist on set.
“He was saying things inappropriately, insisting on putting my lipstick on with his finger,” Lively said. “I was sleeping one night on location and I woke up and he was filming me. I was clothed, but it was a very voyeuristic, terrifying thing to do.” No one should have to tell you that that’s seriously creepy, yet Blake said the reaction when she reported the incident wasn’t what she expected.
“Finally, after three months of complaining, they called me into my trailer and said, ‘We need to talk to you,’” she said. “I thought, ‘Well finally, they’re going to do something about this man who I had to have touching me all day.’ And they said, ‘Your dog left a poop behind the toilet in your dressing room and our janitor had to pick it up. And this is very serious and we can’t have this happen again.’” Something is seriously f–ked up in the world when people think a dog’s accident is more important than harassment.
Only after Blake went to her own lawyer did the makeup artist get fired. But even after all of that, the unit manager wrote him a letter of recommendation, “because nobody wanted there to be bad blood,” Lively said. So this makeup artist probably still works in the industry, which is unsettling to say the least.
Blake has already spoken out about sexual harassment earlier this week. The actress told The Hollywood Reporter that Harvey Weinstein never sexually harassed her, but she reminded us that sexual harassment isn’t just exclusive to this man or Hollywood. “It happens to women all over the place, all the time, to the point where women don’t even think that this is a real assault,” she said. “I’ve had plenty of things happen to me whether it be trying on a dress for prom at some clothing store, to a director being inappropriate, to a guy walking down the street where you don’t think, ‘Oh well, that wasn’t actually sexual assault—this guy just, like, grabbed my butt.'”
“The number one thing that can happen is that people who share their stories, people have to listen to them and trust them, and people have to take it seriously,” Blake also said. “As important as it is to remain furious about this, it’s important to also say that this exists everywhere so remember to look everywhere. This isn’t a single incident. This cannot happen, this should not happen, and it happens in every single industry.”
Many people have said the allegations against Weinstein are examples of a man in power taking advantage of that power to abuse women. That’s definitely the case, but Blake’s story and commentary remind us that sexual harassment can happen anywhere to anyone, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to listen and respond to those who share their experiences.