While it’s great to know that we can come forward about crimes against women, it doesn’t make the act itself any easier to swallow. If anything, the staggering amount of confessions has only made it clear how prevalant and pervasive rape culture really is.
Following the news of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart recently revealed her own heartbreaking story regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. At the time of the incident, she was only a teenager.
“A man in a position of power over me used that said power to try and take advantage of me,” Reinhart wrote in a Tumblr post on October 11. “I’m not comfortable giving specific details about the situation because I don’t feel it’s necessary. All that matters is that he tried to force himself on me when we were on a date. I had to stop him and say “no, I don’t want that,” and “I can’t do that.” I physically walked away from the situation before it could get any worse.” She continued. “I remember feeling like this was a scene right out of a horror movie.”
After the awkward encounter, her colleague attempted to give her a ride. Reinhart assumed he would take her home before realizing that he was actually trying to take her back to his apartment. After repeatedly telling him to drop her off home, Reinhart reported that “he said some snarky comment” before reluctantly bringing her to her destination.
I can’t imagine how terrified she must have felt. I’m extremely surprised that she tried to talk to him the next day and explained how uncomfortable he made her feel; especially considering she was only a teenager at the time.
You can guess where this is going.
After confronting her colleague, the man tried to turn the blame on Reinhart by claiming that she was a tease and led him on. With little experience to go off on, Reinhart began to believe these accusations and desperately felt the need to rectify the situation.
“I was miserable. And I felt that I needed to keep my mouth shut about the entire situation because 1. I figured no one would believe me and 2. he played a much bigger role in this project than me… he had more power. If I said something, maybe the production would be halted… people would be put out of work. I would be looked at as dramatic and a diva, no one would want to work with me again.”
It’s certainly a nightmare that plagues every actor, but it’s a very real threat for actresses. As much as it pains me to admit, it’s threats and worries like these that keep many sexual harassment cases in the dark. Even when some brave women come forward, they’re automatically blamed for leading someone on or being “overly dramatic”. In the light of the Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment allegations, I’m moved by the overwhelming support and confessions by brave individuals coming forward with their own stories.
It’s easy to turn a blind eye to crime. It’s hard to face your demons head on. Reinhart closed her confession by offering her condolences and support towards all those who suffered sexual harassment and felt pressured into silence.
You can read her full post here.