Anna Faris has courageously come forward with her own horrific experience being sexually harassed by a director. In her ‘Unqualified’ podcast, she made a majorly important point about how women are ‘conditioned to giggle’ when someone makes an unwanted advance. Powerful stuff.
Anna Faris, 40, has revealed a lot about her life since she released her new memoir Unqualified on Oct. 23. Unfortunately, experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace has been part of that life, as it has been for numerous other women. On the newest episode of her Unqualified podcast, Anna revealed that she’s been sexually harassed by a director on a movie set. “I was doing a scene where I was on a ladder and I was supposed to be taking books off a shelf and he slapped my ass in front of the crew so hard,” the Mom star said. “And all I could do was giggle.” Anna was accompanied by guest Arielle Kebbel to discuss the prominency of sexual assault and abuse in the workplace and how men can help to eradicate the issue. See photos of celebrities who’ve come forward with their own sexual harassment stories here.
Anna also described trying to brush off the encounter immediately afterward. “I remember looking around and I remember seeing the crew members being like, ‘Wait, what are you going to do about that? That seemed weird.’ And that’s how I dismissed it,” Anna said. “I was like, ‘Well, this isn’t a thing. Like, it’s not that big of a deal. Buck up, Faris. Like, just giggle.’ But it made me feel small. He wouldn’t have done that to the lead male.” Anna’s story comes in the wake of women sharing their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault following the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Cara Delevingne, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, and Gwyneth Paltrow are just a few of the actresses who’ve come forward with accusations against the film producer. Other men like director James Toback have also been recently accused of sexual misconduct.
Anna made an important point about how women are trained to react to their own harassment or assault. “We’re conditioned to giggle,” says Faris. “But also, if we were to do anything else, we’d be labeled a bitch or difficult. That would be the best of circumstances. I guess what I do is I laugh. It puts everyone at ease. That’s the defense mode you go into.” The actress is completely right about how women are taught to react nicely to their own sexual harassment by ‘giggling,’ smiling, or being generally kind. On Aug. 9, it was reported that Taylor Swift‘s mom, Andrea Swift, felt guilt over teaching her 27-year-old daughter to be “so polite” due to the singer having thanked former KYGO radio host David Mueller after he groped the star.
But even though she ‘giggled,’ Anna felt like the experience negatively shaped her experience on set. “I remember that same director telling my agent, who told me, that I had great legs and that was one of the reasons that I got hired,” she recalled. “And listen, that’s a f—ing great compliment. I like my legs. But that sort of informed my whole experience with that whole project. I don’t think the male lead got hired because he had great legs. Therefore I felt like I’m hired because of these elements — not because of [talent].” It’s incredibly disappointing to hear that the actress had to go through this and feel as if her talent isn’t what got her the role.
HollywoodLifers, how do you feel about Anna Faris coming forward with her own account of sexual harassment?