Everyone knew Hollywood was kinda scummy, but the steady flow of gross revelations about actors, directors and producers has shocked even us. These nightmarish stories have gone unreported for years, the victims assuming at best they’d be disbelieved and at worst their careers would be ruined. Now, however, people are coming forth and the latest actor to tell their story is Ellen Page, who says that, on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand, director Brett Ratner subjected her to a torrent of vile abuse.
In her own words (via a statement on her Facebook page):
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.
I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic. I proceeded to watch him on set say degrading things to women. I remember a woman walking by the monitor as he made a comment about her ‘flappy pussy.’
This is just one of the many accusations leveled against Ratner, of course. Species star Natasha Henstridge recounted how the director once forced her to have oral sex, saying, “He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me, at some point, I gave in and he did his thing,” while Olivia Munn says that Ratner masturbated in front of her when she visited his trailer in 2004 (later telling her that he’d ejaculated on magazine covers featuring her face).
That’s not all, though, as Jamie Ray Newman (soon to star in Netflix’s The Punisher) describes a chance encounter on a flight where Ratner began graphically describing how he’d like to perform oral sex on her.
I could go on and on, but frankly, it’s skeeving me out even reading about it. This whole thing demonstrates the corruption at the heart of Hollywood: a place of intense power imbalance and zero oversight, where young actors are told their future career rests on pleasuring an incredibly rich misogynist piece of shit.
This ongoing flood of revelations must be horrible for the victims, who’re now getting their personal lives raked over by the gutter press. But, perhaps once all is said and done, powerful men will realize that their actions have consequences.
I’ll give the last word to Ellen Page here, who says it better than I ever could:
Don’t allow this behavior to be normalized. Don’t compare wrongs or criminal acts by their degrees of severity. Don’t allow yourselves to be numb to the voices of victims coming forward. Don’t stop demanding our civil rights. I am grateful to anyone and everyone who speaks out against abuse and trauma they have suffered. You are breaking the silence. You are revolution.