Gabrielle Union is making headlines for a new interview in The New York Times in which talks about the bias that exists when it comes to believing women who share stories of sexual assault and harassment. Union, who has spoken openly about her own history with sexual assault in the past, doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that the #MeToo anti-harassment movement exploded this fall after several high profile white actresses came forward to accuse powerful men such as Harvey Weinstein.
“I think the floodgates have opened for white women,” Union told The Times. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence whose pain has been taken seriously. Whose pain we have showed historically and continued to show. Whose pain is tolerable and whose pain is intolerable. And whose pain needs to be addressed now.”
Union wonders if the culture would be shifting as much as it is in the wake of so many harassment and abuse allegations had minority victims been leading the charge. The “Being Mary Jane” actress says minority victims aren’t able to come forward in the same way, which means it’s essential for those who are fortunate enough to have a platform where they can be heard to give those who don’t an equal voice.
“If they hadn’t been approachable. If they hadn’t been people who have had access to parts and roles and true inclusion in Hollywood, would we have believed?” Union asks. “When we have the microphone, how often do we pass it back to the people who are experiencing a different challenge, but who are equally worthy as having the microphone?”
Union explains that part of the reason she was able to come forward and share her own story of rape so honestly was because she was the “perfect victim.” Union was at work when the assault happened and her assailant was caught on camera. She also reported the crime in a timely fashion, which isn’t the case with most sexual assaults.