Alicia Vikander is one of nearly 600 Swedish actresses who have signed an open letter calling out Sweden’s film and theater industries for failing to protect women against sexual predators. The letter was published in the Swedish daily newspaper along with anonymous first person accounts detailing acts of sexual harassment and assault made by directors, producers, and more.
“Directors, you have failed. Producers, you have failed. Production companies, you have failed. Theatre managers, you have failed. Politicians, you have failed,” the letter states. “It is your responsibility to ensure that nobody is sexually abused at the workplace.” The signees, which include Vikander and popular Swedish stars like Marie Goranzon (“I Am Curious, Yellow”) and Sofia Helin (“The Bridge”), demand film companies, TV networks, and more ” stop protecting, hiring and making money on perpetrators.”
“We will no longer be silent,” the letter concludes. “We will bring those responsible to account and let the justice system run its course when needed. We will put the shame where it belongs with the perpetrator and those who protect him. We know who you are.”
One of the allegations says a Swedish actor with international appeal followed an actress to her hotel room and then pushed her onto the floor and got on top of her. The actress was able to push him off but told the newspaper she believed she was going to be raped. Another accuser says a theater actor pushed her against an elevator wall and told her to meet him in his dressing room or else she would no longer be involved in the production. A third woman described an alleged assault that took place.
“I was 23 years old and laid on a mattress to rest between rehearsals. One of the conductors came in, asking if he could rub my back,” the anonymous actress wrote. “I immediately felt that I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t say no. He sat on top of me and started to massage my back. He then took out his penis and began to masturbate. When he was about to climax he lifted up my shirt and ejaculated on my back. Then he got up and left. Before the show started that night, he took my arm and said that it was nice and it was our secret.”
The open letter calling out the Swedish film and theater industry follows numerous Hollywood-based assault and harassment accusations. Directors such as James Toback and Brett Ratner, actors like Kevin Spacey and Richard Dreyfuss, and executives such as Harvey Weinstein and Amazon’s Roy Price have all been accused of sexual misconduct, among many others.