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I think for me, I was able to leave Weinstein’s hotel room that day because I had entered as an actor but also as a writer/creator.Of those dual personas in me—actor and writer—it was the writer who stood up and walked out.Hollywood was, of course, a rude awakening to that kind of idealism.I quickly realized that a large portion of the town functioned inside a soft and sometimes literal trafficking or prostitution of young women (a commodity with an endless supply and an endless demand).Because the writer knew that even if this very powerful man never gave her a job in any of his films, even if he blacklisted her from other films, she could make her own work on her own terms and thus keep a roof over her head.I’m telling this story because in the heat surrounding these brave admissions, it’s important to think about the economics of consent.
All of them are courageous, including the women who could not find a way out.It was clear that there was only one direction he wanted this encounter to go in, and that was sex or some version of an erotic exchange.I was able to gather myself together—a bundle of firing nerves, hands trembling, voice lost in my throat—and leave the room. I wept because I had gone up the elevator when I knew better. I wept because at other times in my life, under other circumstances, I had not been able to leave.Straight, white men tend to tell stories from their perspective, as one naturally does, which means the women are generally underwritten.They don’t necessarily even need names; “Bikini Babe 2” and “Blonde 4” are parts I auditioned for.
When the Harvey Weinstein story broke, I thought of something my mother told me when I was a little girl.