Natalie Portman says sexual harassment is so normalised she didn't realise when it happened to her

'I went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, ‘Oh wait, I have 100 stories’'

Jack Shepherd
Wednesday 22 November 2017 10:48 GMT
Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman (Getty/Toyota Mirai)

Following a wave of sexual harassment allegations made against Hollywood bigwigs, dozens of actors have started speaking publicly about their own experiences.

During a talk at Vulture Festival, Natalie Portman spoke candidly out about the harassment she has received and the normalisation of such behaviour.

“When I heard everything coming out, I was like, wow, I’m so lucky that I haven’t had this,” she told an audience.

“And then, on reflection, I was like, okay, definitely never been assaulted, definitely not, but I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way.

“I went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, ‘Oh wait, I have 100 stories’. And I think a lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process.”

Portman detailed one incident where she was invited to fly with a producer on a private jet. However, when she got on board, she found that only one bed had been prepared for the two of them.

“Nothing happened, I was not assaulted,” the actor continued. “I said: ‘This doesn’t make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected. But that was super not okay, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative and could have been — I was scared, you know?

“But just the fact of any woman, if you’re walking down the street alone at night, you feel scared, and I’m not sure guys know what that [feels like].”

The actor also spoke about the lack of diversity on most film sets, saying it’s rare to have female crew members apart from “stereotypical departments for women” such as hair, makeup and wardrobe.

“If you do get the opportunity to work, you’re often the only woman in the room. I hear this from friends of mine who are lawyers, business people, writers on shows.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in