Actress Blake Lively has spoken out about the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment claims, calling his behaviour “unacceptable”.
During a scheduled interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote her new movie, Lively agreed to discuss the scandal. The Gossip Girl star had been on a film business panel with Weinstein and then-First Lady Michelle Obama back in 2013. Whilst Lively was adamant she hadn’t heard any rumours regarding his misconduct, she stressed that the stories were not unique to Hollywood.
“That was never my experience with Harvey in any way whatsoever, and I think that if people heard these stories … I do believe in humanity enough to think that this wouldn’t have just continued,” she told THR.
“I never heard any stories like this — I never heard anything specific — but it’s devastating to hear.”
Lively noted how important it is to listen to those who come forward with allegations, and to “take them seriously”.
“The number one thing that can happen is that people who share their stories, people have to listen to them and trust them, and people have to take it seriously,” she said. “As important as it is to remain furious about this, it’s important to also say that this exists everywhere so remember to look everywhere. This isn’t a single incident. This cannot happen, this should not happen, and it happens in every single industry.”
The actress went onto explain that harassment happens so regularly, women often don’t process the severity of the situation.
“It happens to women all over the place, all the time, to the point where women don’t even think that this is a real assault,” she explains.
“I’ve had plenty of things happen to me whether it be trying on a dress for prom at some clothing store, to a director being inappropriate, to a guy walking down the street where you don’t think, ‘Oh well, that wasn’t actually sexual assault — this guy just, like, grabbed my butt.'”
She continued: “It’s important that women are furious right now. It’s important that there is an uprising. It’s important that we don’t stand for this and that we don’t focus on one or two or three or four stories, it’s important that we focus on humanity in general and say, ‘This is unacceptable.'”