Bel Powley Shares She Was Touched ‘Inappropriately’ by Crew Member: I Was ‘Too Scared to Say Anything’

The "A Small Light" actress was afraid to "rock the boat" by speaking up about allegedly being groped during a past production.
Bel Powley
Bel Powley
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Bel Powley is sharing her story of on-set abuse.

The “Morning Show” star spoke to The Independent about how a senior crew member inappropriately touched her during a past production when Powley was in her early 20s.

“I’ve had someone grab my arse and basically touch me inappropriately before,” Powley told the outlet as part of an interview to be published Saturday, May 6. “I was too scared to say anything. I was too scared to rock the boat.”

Powley, who currently stars in Disney+ series “A Small Light,” continued, “I just avoided that person and it was fine, but what really has changed post-MeToo is you just know that you’re protected. At the beginning of MeToo it was weird. For a while it was like, I feel protected because men are just fucking scared, which was fine too, but now everything’s settled into itself. People have learned and it’s like there’s a new code of conduct.”

The “Everything I Know About Love” alum also addressed how former indie films approached sex scenes in which she was “too scared to say no” despite sequences not being outlined in her contract.

“I did have a couple of bad ones where everyone’s too awkward to ask if you’re going to take your clothes off, and you don’t have it written up properly in the contract,” Powley said, without naming the past features. “It’s low-budget, indie, guerilla-style filming. You’re outside and suddenly it’s the scene where you have to get naked and simulate sex, and then you just find yourself doing it because you’re too scared to say no, with a young actor who probably felt just as uncomfortable.”

Powley specifically applauded the production of 2015 film “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” for being a better experience than other indies when filming intimate scenes.

Powley previously told IndieWire’s Kate Erbland that “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” set out to change how female teenage sexuality is depicted onscreen. “I think that body image in the media is so negative for young women at the moment,” Powley said. “It can be so damaging to people. It takes young women a long time to learn to love themselves.”

She added of the onscreen sex scenes, “This may sound like a complete cliche, but I’m honestly so proud of it. I mean specifically about, let’s just say it, the nudity and the nakedness. I wish I’d seen a normal body like this onscreen in such a brilliant film about female sexuality when I was a teenager.”

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