Juno star Ellen Page, 30, has become one of the most recent celebrities to come forward with sexual harassment allegations; in her claims, she names director and producer Brett Ratner as the newest in a never-ending list of powerful men to be outed for predatory behavior. Page states that in 2006, Ratner suggested that another woman should have sex with her “to make her realize she’s gay.” They were at a casting event for the movie, X-Men: The Last Stand. At the time, Page did not speak up to defend herself, nor did anyone else around her.
Ratner made this comment when Page was just 18 years old, before she had come out as a lesbian. She hadn’t even come out to herself yet, and only did so officially in 2014.
Another actress, Anna Paquin, tweeted about how she was there when Ratner made the comment to Page and added, “I stand with you.”
Page wrote a Facebook post November 10th about the situation and its impact on her: “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. This public, aggressive outing left me with long standing feelings of shame, one of the most destructive results of homophobia. Making someone feel ashamed of who they are is a cruel manipulation, designed to oppress and repress. I was robbed of more than autonomy over my ability to define myself. Ratner’s comment replayed in my mind many times over the years as I encountered homophobia and coped with feelings of reluctance and uncertainty about the industry and my future in it.”
The Los Angeles Times reported recently that six other women have also come forward saying that Ratner harassed them as well, including Olivia Munn, Natasha Henstridge, and Melanie Kohler, who made a Facebook post accusing him of raping her more than a decade ago. All of these women have displayed such courage in working together to make sure these men don’t do this to anyone else.
Page says she regrets working in To Rome With Love because of its association with Woody Allen, who has been well known for years as being a sexual predator. Her involvement in the film has made her feel ashamed, but she states that she felt pressured to do the movie because “of course you have to say yes” to working with Woody Allen.
Page has recently been working on Gaycation, a documentary series in which she observes LGBTQ communities across the globe to spread awareness about the things they endure. She refers to violence against women as an epidemic and speaks on issues of homophobia, white supremacy, privilege, and victimization. Her dedication to this project has made her an important voice in all of the recent commotion regarding sexual harassment and assault cases.
Page makes a point to prove that she understands her privilege of wealth and platform.
“Let’s remember the epidemic of violence against women in our society disproportionately affects low income women, particularly women of color, trans and queer women and indigenous women, who are silenced by their economic circumstances and profound mistrust of a justice system that acquits the guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence and continues to oppress people of color.”
It is important to remember as all of these celebrities speak out that they are not the majority to whom this is happening. Although we must stick with those women who possess the platforms to speak, we must not forget the women who are affected every day and have much smaller voices and power at their disposal. All women matter – not just those that are favored in the media.
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