Hayek adds her voice to the “me too” movement by telling her Weinstein story
In a recent essay for the New York Times, Salma Hayek adds her name to the ever-growing list of women accusing disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
Hayek’s explosive and heartbreaking op-ed chronicles how absolutely impossible Weinstein allegedly made the production of Frida, the 2002 film that Hayek produced and starred in for Weinstein’s former company, Miramax films— even though it ended up winning him two Academy Awards. He attempted to close doors at every opportunity – and Hayek endured.
When Weinstein said yes to his production company creating the film, Hayek writes, “Little did I know it would become my turn to say no.”
“No to opening the door to him at all hours of the night, hotel after hotel, location after location, where he would show up unexpectedly, including one location where I was doing a movie he wasn’t even involved with.
No to me taking a shower with him.
No to letting him watch me take a shower.
No to letting him give me a massage.
No to letting a naked friend of his give me a massage.
No to letting him give me oral sex.
No to my getting naked with another woman.
No, no, no, no, no …
And with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.”
Hayek says the fallen mogul even threatened her life once in a fit of rage. “The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.'”
She writes, “I don’t think he hated anything more than the word ‘no.'”
Aside from his alleged continual unwanted sexual advances and blatant menacing and harassment, Weinstein also threatened to take away Hayek’s role in the film as well as the script and to shut down production if Hayek refused to do a nude scene with co-star Ashley Judd. After finally agreeing to it, Hayek says she had a nervous breakdown during the filming of the scene. That incident was what kept Hayek from the film after finishing production.
Even though it won Oscars, she was never offered another starring role in a Miramax film for the rest of her contract with the company.
The Twitter reaction from celebrities came quickly — and the support for Hayek is vast.
I ask all of our male allies in this industry, why have your journeys been so different from ours?
I thank you @salmahayek for sharing your story. Your voice is important and needed right now. You are creating a place of great healing https://t.co/Lp8s4ixTlH
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) December 13, 2017
Salma Hayek tells her story, which is about Harvey Weinstein, but also the misogynist distortions that warp the lives and ambitions of female artists: https://t.co/rXK8xtOvXT
— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) December 13, 2017
If you want to know what my early years in comics were like, read this article by Salma Hayek about her experiences with Harvey Weinstein. She can talk. I can't. I signed an NDA. But my experiences were of a kind. And worse. https://t.co/zR4AZ9Y9Rd
— Colleen Doran (@ColleenDoran) December 13, 2017
Wow, Salma Hayek on Harvey Weinstein….there's a lot here. Including so many threats. https://t.co/2ERQWdgbBg
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) December 13, 2017
Wow. Thank you, @salmahayek. “We, as women, have been devalued artistically to an indecent state, to the point where the film industry stopped making an effort to find out what female audiences wanted to see and what stories we wanted to tell.” https://t.co/vwPnHmAEfv
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) December 13, 2017
Thank you, @salmahayek, for having the courage to share your painful story about this horrible monster. The tale of your silent torment, your fight, and your commitment to your artistry brought me to tears. https://t.co/QyATXmHii3
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 13, 2017
My dear @salmahayek Thank you for your courage. In art. In activism. In life. And in this extraordinary piece. https://t.co/4gaVb3UhDz
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) December 13, 2017
Salma Hayek’s essay on Weinstein is just searing. This is an entire generation of actresses. https://t.co/SvKnfhq4yB
— jodikantor (@jodikantor) December 13, 2017
This Salma Hayek op ed is actually killing me. Frida was a beautiful and successful film. Imagine if she'd had a positive, supportive experience while producing it. Imagine what else she could have made. Films she could have directed, roles she could have demanded.
— Brittany Luse (@bmluse) December 13, 2017
Hayek closed out her essay with some very powerful words.
“I am grateful for everyone who is listening to our experiences. I hope that adding my voice to the chorus of those who are finally speaking out will shed light on why it is so difficult, and why so many of us have waited so long. Men sexually harassed because they could. Women are talking today because, in this new era, we finally can.”