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Anna Faris Reveals Director Sexually Assaulted Her on Set: ‘It Made Me Feel Small’

The actress shared her own history battling sexual harassment and assault in the industry on an episode of her "Unqualified" podcast.

Anna FarisBUILD Speaker Series: Anna Faris, New York, USA - 23 Oct 2017

Anna Faris

Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Anna Faris has revealed her own experiences with sexual assault in Hollywood on the latest episode of her “Unqualified” podcast, released October 24. The “Mom” actress shared a story from early in her career in which a director slapped her on the butt in front of the entire crew during filming. Faris did not name the filmmaker but explained how she was expected to laugh off the encounter as a joke, especially since it was made in public.

“I was doing a scene where I was on a ladder and I was supposed to be taking books off a shelf and he slapped my ass in front of the crew so hard,” Faris said. “And all I could do was giggle. I remember looking around and I remember seeing the crew members being like, ‘Wait, what are you going to do about that? That seemed weird.’ And that’s how I dismissed it. I was like, ‘Well, this isn’t a thing. Like, it’s not that big of a deal. Buck up, Faris. Like, just giggle.’ But it made me feel small. He wouldn’t have done that to the lead male.”

Faris later remembered being cast in the movie because the director thought “she had great legs.” “Listen, that’s a fucking great compliment. I like my legs. But that sort of informed my whole experience with that whole project,” she explained. “I don’t think the male lead got hired because he had great legs. Therefore I felt like I’m hired because of these elements — not because of [talent].”

As for why she didn’t say anything to the director on set right after the assault occurred: “We’re conditioned to giggle. But also, if we were to do anything else, we’d be labeled a bitch or difficult. That would be the best of circumstances. I guess what I do is I laugh. It puts everyone at ease. That’s the defense mode you go into.”

Faris’ story is one of many that have been shared in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment and abuse scandal. Over 50 women have gone on the record accusing Weinstein, while director James Toback is now at the center of harassment allegations with over 200 women making accusations against him.

You can listen to the entirety of Faris’ latest “Unqualified” episode below.

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