Out Actors Discuss Sexual Harassment in Hollywood Amid Weinstein Controversy

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Charlie Carver. Photo: Instagram / @charliecarver

(EDGE) A number of LGBTQ actors are speaking out about sexual harassment in Hollywood in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein controversy. 

During the GLSEN's annual Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, Calif. Friday, out actors spoke with Variety about inappropriate behavior they've experienced in Hollywood over the years. 

"My So Called Life" actor Wilson Cruz, who sits on the board of GLSEN, said, "...[E]arly on when I was a little twink there were people who made suggestions about how they could help me. And, you know, clearly I didn't take them up on that because I would be far more famous than I am now!"

He added there were "older gentlemen of a certain age who made offers. I did not take them up on it, but it was uncomfortable. I was in my 20s, and I thought: 'Is this what one does?' And also: 'Am I going to ruin my career by not doing it?' In the end, I politely said no and kept on my way.

"But, you know, it definitely happens," Wilson told Variety. "I think it's been quietly accepted as the norm in a lot of ways. People are like: 'Oh, it happens' and you brush it off. [But] I didn't feel safe. I was trying to maneuver my way through Hollywood as an openly gay actor, and there weren't many examples for me at the time. I was juggling a lot of worries."

"Teen Wolf" and "The Leftovers" star Charlie Carver said he's "no stranger to [harassment]."

"This will hopefully open up a discussion about men and power dynamics in general - maybe it has to do with exerting masculinity," he told Variety at the event. Carver said his experience shook him, but he was able to work through it.

"Through the support of talking with other people who have been through the same thing," he added. "I wouldn't say I was traumatized. But it was definitely a lesson, something to move through.

"In this political climate more than ever, we need to reward our allies and the people who are visible in the community so that young people feel like they are being seen and that they have peers and support," he said.

Earlier this month, British model and actress Cara Delevingne spoke out about Weinstein, saying the disgraced movie mogul told her that her sexual orientation could harm her career. (Delevingne identifies as bisexual). She said a year or two later, Weinstein asked her to kiss another woman and that he allegedly tried to kiss her when she tried to leave the hotel where they were.

 


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