Amber Tamblyn would like James Woods to examine his darkness. The outspoken feminist, actress, and writer/director penned an impassioned open letter to the two-time Oscar nominee (and Twitter’s resident crazy old man), and it’s required reading for anyone who cares about sexism in Hollywood.
The letter is a response to a heated Twitter exchange in which Tamblyn, 34, recalled when the now 70-year-old actor “tried to pick [her up]” with a friend in a parking lot when she was 16. Tamblyn’s tweet came following Woods’ pointed criticism of the age difference in “Call Me By Your Name,” to which that film’s star, Armie Hammer, had responded: “Didn’t you date a 19 year old when you were 60…….?”
“James Woods tried to pick me and my friend up at a restaurant once. He wanted to take us to Vegas. ‘I’m 16’ I said. ‘Even better’ he said,” Tamblyn tweeted. When Woods denied the occurrence, Tamblyn then tweeted a screenshot of a text from the friend who was with her at the time. In the letter, sent to Teen Vogue, Tamblyn urges Woods to “look in the mirror” and examine the impulse to invite a teenage girl to Las Vegas.
“Dear Mr. Woods,” it begins. “What you are experiencing is called a teachable moment… It is called hope. The hope being that through this experience, you can change. You can redefine the man who will come after this moment and this man who came before. Since you’ve now called me a liar, I will now call you a silencer. I see your gaslight and now will raise you a scorched earth.”
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Tamblyn then relates the anecdote in far greater detail than she did on Twitter:
“You tried to make it sound innocent. This is something predatory men like to do, I’ve noticed. Make it sound innocent. Just a dollop of insinuation. Just a hair of persuasion. Just a pinch of suggestion. “It will be so much fun, I promise you. Nothing has to happen, we will just have a good time together.” I told you my age, kindly and with no judgment or aggression. I told you my age because I thought you would be immediately horrified and take back your offer. You laughed and said, ‘Even better. We’ll have so much fun, I promise.'”
Tamblyn finishes with a plea: “Only you and your darkness know who you are. Only you and your actions know what you’ve done. That means you and only you have the power to change your behavior. Are you and your history with women and girls a part of the problem, Mr. Woods?”
This is not first time Tamblyn has used her platform to draw attention to feminist issues. Following the release of Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape in October 2016, Tamblyn shared a powerful account of her own experience with sexual assault.
The actress has also found a better way to give women a voice in Hollywood: She made the transition to directing last year with her critically well received debut, “Paint It Black.” You can read Tamblyn’s letter in its entirety here.