Jennifer Lawrence revealed her own experiences facing harassment when she was just starting out as an actress during a powerful speech at Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event in Los Angeles on Oct. 16, where the actress was one of eight honorees. Lawrence remembered the “degrading” requests made by producers for her to lost weight during one of her earliest auditions.
“When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks,” Lawrence said. The actress was told that another young woman had already been fired from the role for not losing the weight fast enough.
Lawrence remembered another instance during the same time when a producer made her do a nude line-up with five other women who were thinner than her. “We all stood side-by-side with only tape on covering our privates,” she said. “After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”
When the actress went to another producer on the project to report the weight loss demands as inappropriate, she received an equally as horrifying response: “He said he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was ‘perfectly f—able.'”
Lawrence’s stories come in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, in which dozens of women have accused the former head of The Weinstein Company of sexual harassment and abuse. Accusers include Léa Seydoux, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, and Cara Delevingne, among many others. Lawrence spoke out against Weinstein and praised the women brave enough to come forward in an official statement made on October 10.
“I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior,” Lawrence said to Variety. “This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting. My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward.”
The Oscar winner ended her speech at the Women in Hollywood event with a powerful remark: “I’m still learning that I don’t have to smile when a man makes me uncomfortable. Every human being should have the power to be treated with respect because they’re human.”
Lawrence, who most recently starred in Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” and can next be seen in “Red Sparrow” in March, was joined at the event by fellow honoree Reese Witherspoon, who also used her speech to reveal a personal experience with harassment the industry.