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Salma Hayek Tells Her Harvey Weinstein Horror Story

Star of Frida, Salma Hayek, talks about her experiences with Harvey Weinstein in an article produced by the New York Times called Harvey Weinstein is My Monster Too.

By now, it is clear that Weinstein and many others are being held responsible for their heinous actions. Hayek has found her courage to tell her story about her experience with sexual harassment from Weinstein after years of silence. She has been devalued and silenced by him for so long and now she can finally tell her story.

Hayek has said ‘no’ to the perverted director over and over again throughout her years working with him. ‘No’ to opening the door to him at hotels, including one location where she was doing a movie he wasn’t involved with, ‘no’ to taking a shower with him, ‘no’ to letting him watch her take a shower, ‘no’ letting him give her a massage, ‘no’ to letting his naked friend give her a massage, ‘no’ to letting him give her oral sex, ‘no’ to getting naked with another woman, over and over ‘no,’ ‘no,’ ‘no’…

Every time Weinstein was told ‘no,’ it was followed by rage. He didn’t like being turned down, and it is clear he is a man who expects everything to go his way. After her refusals, he made things difficult for Hayek, especially the creation of Frida.

Hayek says, “He told me that the only thing I had going for me was my sex appeal and that there was none of that in this movie. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role.”

Hayek went through hell to produce the movie that received two wins and six nominations at the Oscars in 2002, including Best Actress, despite Weinstein’s lack of support. Weinstein told her to get a re-writer of the script without additional pay, raise $10m to finance the film, attach an A-list director, and cast four of the smaller roles with prominent actors. Luckily, she had good friends like Edward Norton, who rewrote the script, Margaret Perenchio, a first-time producer who invested money, and director Julie Taymor. For the other roles, she hired her friends, including Antonio Banderas and Ashley Judd.

Taymor had to fight Weinstein to agree to release the film in one movie theater in New York to test it to an audience; if it scored well, then they could expand the reach. Less than 10 percent of films achieve a score more than 80 on a first screening. The film scored 85. Weinstein raged and screamed at Taymor in the lobby of a theater after the screening, throwing a scorecard at her.

Salma had to fight tell her story. She would never have had to go through such chaos to achieve this same goal had she been a man. Women are incredibly artistically devalued, especially in the film industry. Salma reports findings from a recent study, where between 2007 and 2016, only 4 percent of directors were female and 80 percent of those had the chance to make only one film. In 2016, another study found that women spoke only 27 percent of the words in the biggest movies. These statistics tell us a lot more about the industry than we already knew. Not only are the actresses devalued, the women directors and producers are as well.

“And people wonder why you didn’t hear our voices sooner,” says Salma.

Hayek’s story tells us a lot about how difficult the Hollywood industry is for women and what they are forced to endure to get to positions that are so easily handed to men.

Featured Image by Martinvarsavsky on Flickr

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