Film / TVSex & Gender

lupita nyong’o says harvey weinstein sexually harassed her: “we don’t speak up for fear of suffering twice”

October 20, 2017
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Lupita Nyong’o is, unfortunately, the latest voice to speak out about
sexual predator Harvey Weinstein
, crossing boundaries with actresses. In a moving piece for the New York Times, the Academy Award winner wrote about her troubling experience dealing with Weinstein and the all too familiar feelings of guilt and fear these women experienced.

At the time of their first meeting, an intermediary introduced the then Yale School of Drama student, Nyong’o to Weinstein, touting that he was the most “powerful man in Hollywood.” From the get-go, Weinstein’s power lurked over every interaction young starlets had with him. And when the intermediary warned, “He is a good man to know in the business, but just be careful around him. He can be a bully,” it’s easy to see how Nyong’o and others believed that dealing with him was a necessary, but tricky situation.

In great detail, Nyong’o describes the events that led up to and include the time Mr. Weinstein invited her to his family home in Westport, CN. close by to Hartford where she was living. to watch and discuss a film. In this riveting piece, Nyong’o bravely outlines being bullied to drink alcohol, despite expressing her wish not to and being pushed into a scenario that involved massage a half-clothed Weinstein while she planned her escape from the situation she had expressed not wanting to be in.

Lupita’s generous chronicling of the bullying and sexual harassment she experienced at the hands of a Hollywood gatekeeper offers a profound glimpse at how scary and tangled workplace harassment can be, especially in creative and competitive fields.

“I share all of this now because I know now what I did not know then. I was part of a growing community of women who were secretly dealing with harassment by Harvey Weinstein. But I also did not know that there was a world in which anybody would care about my experience with him[…]I did not know that anybody wanted things to change. So my survival plan was to avoid Harvey and men like him at all costs, and I did not know that I had allies in this.”

Read Nyong’o’s must-read essay, here.