Olivia Munn has written a powerful essay for Entertainment Weekly in which she addresses Hollywood’s sexual harassment and abuse problem. Munn was one of six women who came forward to accuse director Brett Ratner of sexual harassment in a story published by The Los Angeles Times in November.
“My experience with Brett Ratner enforced in me the belief that I deserve to be here and that I should be able to reach for my dreams without being harassed and abused, no matter what economic or social position I find myself in,” Munn writes. “How will anyone know you’re worth it if you don’t?”
Munn told The Los Angles Times that Ratner masturbated in front of her in his trailer when she was visiting the 2004 set of his film. According to Munn, she was asked to drop off food to Ratner’s trailer as a favor and when she entered she found the director not wearing any pants and “furiously masturbating.” She says he told at a later date that he ejaculated to her image on magazine covers.
“In our world today — and it’s not just Hollywood, it’s the same for girls and women all over the world who have survived sexual abuse and/or harassment — abusers don’t usually get in trouble unless the victim is broken first, because the violating act alone is not damaging enough to spark society’s outrage,” Munn writes in Entertainment Weekly. “It’s a marathon towards self-destruction in order to gain credibility and a vicious circle of victim-blaming.”
Munn writes that the sexual harassment and abuse problem in Hollywood is not a “women’s issue” but an “abuse-of-power issue.” “Until we eradicate the diseased roots of our infrastructure and make foundational, systemic changes, nothing will change,” she says.
She concludes her essay on an optimistic note, pleading to those in positions of power not to hold back women anymore.
“If you’re already at the top or on your way there, please don’t hold us back anymore,” she writes. “Instead, stand with the rest of us—because the glass ceiling that hangs over me is the same glass ceiling that will hang over your daughters, sisters, nieces…Together, our voices are mighty, powerful, and earth-shaking. We’re strong. We’re not afraid to call each other out—and we’re not afraid to call you out anymore either.”
Head over to Entertainment Weekly to read Munn’s entire essay.