We continue to be so inspired by the countless women who have come forward with their stories of sexual harassment in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Riverdale‘s Lili Reinhart used her voice this week taking to her Tumblr page to recount a horrifying experience of being taken advantage of by an older colleague on set when she was a teenager.
In hopes of demonstrating how common these abuses toward women are in the film industry, the 21-year-old wrote:
“I was a teenager working on a project.. when I started to have a crush on a guy I was working with. He was incredibly charming and charismatic├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ we flirted for a while before we went on our first date. He was pretty significantly older than me, but I thought of myself as mature so it didn’t seem like a big deal.”
She went on to say that during their date, the man used his power to “force himself” on her:
“I had to stop him and say ‘no, I don’t want that,’ and ‘I can’t do that.’ I physically walked away from the situation before it could get any worse. I remember feeling like this was a scene right out of a horror movie.”
Things got even scarier on the ride home:
“As we were driving, I realized he was trying to take me back to his apartment. And I knew if I made it there, something bad was going to happen to me. I told him to drop me off at my home, that I didn’t want to go back to his place. He said some snarky comment but reluctantly brought me to where I was staying.”
The next day, the young actress confronted her harasser to tell him “how uncomfortable it made me and how wrong it felt,” to which he responded by blaming her:
“This guy proceeded to tell me that it was my fault for leading him on. Saying that ‘I seemed like a sexual girl and that I’d be down for it.’ That I misled him. Days following, he grew angry at the situation and became defensive about it and his actions. Claiming that I was ‘a tease’ and ‘the most manipulative woman he’d ever met.’ His ego was bruised to say the least, because I refused to engage with him sexually that night.”
His reaction led her to question whether or not she really had done something wrong:
“He refused to talk to me. I remember begging him to come outside his trailer so we could talk. I needed clarity on the situation. I felt like I had genuinely done something wrong├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ that maybe I really was being a tease to him and led him to believe that I wanted to be with him sexually. I was miserable. And I felt that I needed to keep my mouth shut about the entire situation because 1. I figured no one would believe me and 2. he played a much bigger role in this project than me├óΓé¼┬ª he had more power. If I said something, maybe the production would be halted├óΓé¼┬ª people would be put out of work. I would be looked at as dramatic and a diva, no one would want to work with me again.”
Lili concluded by saying she understands how Harvey’s victims feel — and how important it is for us to keep the conversation going:
“So I understand how these women feel- the women coming forward about being harassed and assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. Feeling that they’d rather keep quiet at the time than start a discussion that could lead to them being called a liar or overly dramatic. I stand with them. I believe them. I believe in standing up for yourself as a woman and coming forward about sexual harassment.”
Read her full account HERE.
Rape culture must end!
[Image via DJDM/WENN.]