Her epic Facebook post is a worthwhile read in its entirety
In a formidable Facebook post yesterday, Ellen Page came for director Brett Ratner by stating he verbally abused her on the set of X Men: The Last Stand. She says she was also sexually assaulted by another director when she was 16, and by a grip on set a few months later.
Sexual harassment is rife in Hollywood, and it appears women who have been victimized are ready to burn these assholes to the ground. Rattner is among the abusive ranks of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Steven Segal, and Louis C.K. He’s been accused on-record of sexual abuse and misconduct by at least six women. Page says he verbally abused and humiliated her by making lewd comments about her sexuality.
“‘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,” Page writes. “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.”
Page, who now identifies as gay, says she had not yet come out even to herself at that point. “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.”
It’s fucking despicable. According to the LA Times, Ratner has long been known for vulgar, abusive and toxic behavior toward women — on set and off. Page says she watched him degrade women throughout the entire shoot. When he pressured her to wear a shirt that read “Team Ratner” (barf) and she refused, producers for the film told her she “can’t talk like that to him [Ratner] .”
Oh, go fuck yourself Brett Ratner and every single complicit idiot who encouraged this kind of garbage behavior.
“I was being reprimanded, yet he was not being punished nor fired for the blatantly homophobic and abusive behavior we all witnessed,” Page writes. “I was an actor that no one knew. I was eighteen and had no tools to know how to handle the situation.” In case you’re wondering why women don’t “speak up,” here’s one reason why.
Anna Pacquin, who also starred in the X Men movie with Page, spoke out on Twitter about witnessing the experience she describes:
If you can't think of the glaringly obvious reason I remained silent then perhaps you've forgotten that I've been in this victim grooming industry since before I hit puberty.— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) November 10, 2017
Page also described, in detail, other altercations she had with powerful men in Hollywood as a 16-year-old girl. A director took her out for dinner — what she calls “a professional obligation and not an uncommon one” where he proceeded to fondle her leg under the table: “‘You have to make the move, I can’t.’ I did not make the move and I was fortunate to get away from that situation,” she writes. “It was a painful realization: my safety was not guaranteed at work. An adult authority figure for whom I worked intended to exploit me, physically.” She says in addition, she was sexually assaulted by a grip, and also asked by a director to sleep with a man in his late twenties “and to tell them about it.” All of this happened when she was just 16. Still a child in many ways.
She segues into discussing the Woody Allen film she starred in five years ago, calling it the “biggest regret” of her career. Again, the pressure to work with known predators like Ratner and Allen is intense, especially for relatively unknown (at the time) actors like Page. “I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because ‘of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.’ Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice. I made an awful mistake.”
Page hopes this “long-awaited reckoning” means these men will face justice for what they’ve done. “I want them to sit and think about who they are without their lawyers, their millions, their fancy cars, houses upon houses, their ‘playboy’ status and swagger.”
PREACH. This whole “boys will be boys” and “all guys talk like that” excusatory response is so conditioned in our patriarchal society, and it needs to stop. We’re all civilized human beings and there is absolutely no justifiable reason on earth for turning women and men into victims this way.
She concludes her post by calling on all of us to remember that women and marginalized people all over the world are victimized everyday, and that violence against women of color, trans and queer women, and indigenous women are often “silenced by their economic circumstances ” and have a “profound distrust” in an oppressive justice system.
“I am grateful to anyone and everyone who speaks out against abuse and trauma they have suffered,” she concludes. “You are breaking the silence. You are revolution.”