Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kit Williamson Talks Sexual Harassment in Hollywood

Stephan Horbelt, who used to run Frontiers and is now executive editor for the gay app Hornet, did a little digging into the topic of sexual harassment in the entertainment business. He notes that before Harvey Weinstein was unveiled as an inside-the-industry predator — a misogynistic sexual harasser, alleged rapist and all-around creator of toxic environments for seemingly every woman who encountered him in a span of 30 years — there was the Fox News duo of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. And before them, it was Bill Cosby -- which is to say nothing of the man living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.  

That got Hornet wondering: When will Hollywood’s other shoe drop, that “shoe” being worn by a gay version of Harvey Weinstein, for that matter? (Apparently THIS ONE didn't count.) Who will be next?

Actor/filmmaker Kit Williamson, who appeared on the final two seasons of "Mad Men" and created and starred in the LGBT Emmy-nominated series "EastSiders," tells Hornet:

On being assaulted at his first Hollywood party:

“I was 18 years old on my first trip to Los Angeles in college. I went to a party with a friend of mine that was held at the house of a pretty big agent at one of the top five agencies. One of those big ones that has three letters in the name, if that narrows it down a little bit. The guy tried to put his hand down my pants while telling me that I would never make it as an actor if I was openly gay. It was kind of a one-two punch of harassment and homophobia, and I think the two things do kind of go hand in hand. One of the reasons why we haven’t had a gay Harvey Weinstein yet, I think, is that a lot of people don’t want to speak out because of homophobia.”

On various "industry parties":

“I came to the industry when I was already over 18, but it’s kind of an open secret that there are, or were, let’s call them ‘industry parties’ that were largely populated with a very young crowd, a teenage crowd. I do know people who went to those parties, and I do recall being invited to those parties and not attending. It honestly made me a little grateful that I spent my teenage years doing theater in New York, because I heard a lot of rumors of things that happened to friends and friends of friends. I think it’s an open secret that not everybody in that scene was 18, but I can’t speak from personal experience; I didn’t go to those parties.”

On what women are facing in Hollywood:

“We need to make [public conversation] universal in the hopes of amplifying women’s voices. Because every woman I know in Hollywood has been propositioned for a role, or forcibly groped, or in some other ways had her agency taken away at some point while working. Every woman I know. It’s an outlier story for gay men. Because my story — I have that experience, but it’s not the same.”

Read HERE.

1 comment:

Stephan Horbelt said...

Thanks for covering! —Stephan

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