When news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke in October, no one could have predicted the domino effect that it would have across the entertainment industry, sparking many other allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and rape.
Whilst most of the rich and famous have voiced their support for the victims Weinstein insisted on preying on, not everyone in Tinseltown has been willing to go easy on his many accusers. In fact, some stars have been less than sympathetic. Fifty-year-old actress and model Pamela Anderson has angered millions of people by claiming that the victims of the Weinstein reign of terror could have prevented their ordeal, as his status as a predator was well known in the industry. Anderson made her shocking claims during an appearance on Megyn Kelly Today last Thursday where she delved into a discussion about the widespread sexual assault in the movie industry and the role that Weinstein had to play in it. Interestingly, despite victim blaming the Weinstein accusers, Anderson revealed she is a victim of sexual abuse and harassment herself. What’s more is that the sexual misconduct that she experienced occurred long before she stepped foot in La La Land. Anderson recalled how a female babysitter sexually abused her between the ages of six and 10, and when she was 12 years old, she was raped by a much older man. Shockingly, she also said that when she was in the ninth grade, her boyfriend and six of his friends gang-raped her. Despite knowing what is like to be preyed on in a sexual context, Anderson felt that it was important to avoid situations that could leave potential victims in a vulnerable position and that’s why she does not have the same amount of sympathy for the Weinstein victims as other people. “We naturally blame ourselves. […] You somehow think that you are to blame, but I learned to never put myself into those situations again,” Anderson explained. “When I came to Hollywood, I, of course, had a lot of offers to do private auditions and things that made absolutely no sense. Common sense – don’t go into a hotel room alone, if someone answers the door in a bathrobe, you know, leave.” Megyn Kelly then asked if the Weinstein scandal and, specifically, the sheer number of women who came forward had surprised her. “No, I think it was common knowledge that certain producers or certain people in Hollywood are people to avoid,” Anderson replied. “Privately. You know what you’re getting into if you go to a hotel room alone.” Last Saturday, in response to the backlash that Anderson’s candid interview received, Anderson published an essay on her personal blog responding to the critics. Whilst she did make her position on Weinstein’s misconduct clearer, referring to him as a “sexist pig and a bully” she refused to apologize for the comments which her critics interpreted as victim blaming. “I think this narrative of ‘victim blaming’ and ‘lack of solidarity’ is trying to coerce me (and others) into consensus on something that should be debated and discussed broadly,” she wrote. “I can tell you that from my experience of working on protection – be it a protection of journalists and human rights defenders and internet security – there is ALWAYS a call and recommendation to see the issues in their complexity.” “There is understanding of a need to address the issue on a structural and legal level, to punish perpetrators but also to build resilience and ability of ‘self-protection’. What techniques you should use online, what precautions you should take when covering certain issues as a journalist. “There are also a lot of self-protection courses. There is even a well-known story of suffragettes learning martial arts and protection when doing activism for the right to vote.“ “I did not say that women deserved being abused or that the pigs like Weinstein were not to be punished,” Anderson continued. “Quite [the] opposite, I said myself that Weinstein is a sexist pig and a bully.” Anderson wants women to be more aware of the issues that exist in society and use this to their advantage, rather than blindly assuming that invites into situations where they could be vulnerable will not end in tragedy. “So this is not victim blaming but looking at the issue from the angle of women being aware of certain problems and how to spot them and fight them. It is totally hypocritical to ignore this. And it is not helping anyone to ignore the realities [of] the society we live in.” “The causes of the problem and solutions are complex, and women who do not live in the utopian bubble must be aware of what is going on. And that is what I have highlighted. I do NOT wish to apologize for what I said. And will not get coerced into an apology.” “This exactly what I am saying is a problem with the contemporary ‘victimhood feminism’!” she said. “The people who subscribe to that notion tolerate and actually expect women to talk about the stories of abuse and experiences with creeps.” “But they would NOT tolerate a woman with her own opinion. So pathetic.” Thankfully, however, the vast majority of celebrities have spoken out in defense of the disgraced movie mogul’s victims. Check out this video below about the famous faces who have condemned Weinstein on Twitter: We hope that Weinstein’s victims and all victims of sexual abuse get the justice they deserve.