So you have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the downfall of Harvey Weinstein. Women have been sharing stories of unwanted inappropriate and sexually explicit behavior by Harvey towards them over the years. People have been saying that this has been Hollywood’s best-kept secret and even though all of the stories have been outrageous I was particularly interested in Lupita’s story.
In an op-ed for the New York Times, Lupita writes about an encounter with Harvey that went from bad to worse starting with a massage in his bedroom. Read what she wrote below:
Harvey led me into a bedroom — his bedroom — and announced that he wanted to give me a massage. I thought he was joking at first. He was not. For the first time since I met him, I felt unsafe. I panicked a little and thought quickly to offer to give him one instead: It would allow me to be in control physically, to know exactly where his hands were at all times.
Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included bodywork, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind, and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance. He agreed to this and lay on the bed. I began to massage his back to buy myself time to figure out how to extricate myself from this undesirable situation. Before long he said he wanted to take off his pants.
I told him not to do that and informed him that it would make me extremely uncomfortable. He got up anyway to do so and I headed for the door, saying that I was not at all comfortable with that. “If we’re not going to watch the film, I really should head back to school,” I said.
I didn’t quite know how to process the massage incident. I reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled-for, but not overtly sexual. I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred.
I was in an educational program where I was giving massages to my classmates and colleagues every day. Though the incident with Harvey had made me uncomfortable, I was able to explain and justify it to myself and shelve it as an awkward moment. His offer to me to be a part of the HBO show was a very attractive one and I was excited about it, especially as I would be graduating in another year. I didn’t know how to proceed without jeopardizing my future. But I knew I would not be accepting any more visits to private spaces with Harvey Weinstein.
What is sad about this story is the fact that Lupita did something, many of us who might go through the same thing tend to do as well.
We rationalize the incident, put it in a box and just forget about it, even when we know it was wrong. We are sometimes afraid to hold men accountable, we never speak out, we are silent!
You can read her full story here.