Björk has shared details of her own experience with sexual harassment. In a new statement pinned to her Facebook page, the Icelandic songwriter outlines an encounter with an unnamed “Danish director” who made her aware “that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will” without consequence in the film industry.
“When I turned the director down repeatedly he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where I was framed as the difficult one,” she writes. “Because of my strength, my great team, and because I had nothing to lose, having no ambitions in the acting world, I walked away from it and recovered in a year’s time.”
The statement follows public outcry surrounding film producer Harvey Weinstein, who, after two detailed reports were published by the New Yorker and New York Times earlier this month, was finally outed for sexual harassment after decades of misconduct. Many women (and men) have since come forward with their own stories of similar encounters—both in the film industry and beyond—where sadly this behavior is all to common from those in positions of power. Read Björk’s full statement below.
i am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a danish director . because i come from a country that is one of the worlds place closest to equality between the sexes and at the time i came from position of strength in the music world with hard earned independence , it was extremely clear to me when i walked into the actresses profession that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director and a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it . i became aware of that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it . when i turned the director down repeatedly he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where i was framed as the difficult one . because of my strength , my great team and because i had nothing to loose having no ambitions in the acting world , i walked away from it and recovered in a years time . i am worried though that other actresses working with the same man did not . the director was fully aware of this game and i am sure of that the film he made after was based on his experiences with me . because i was the first one that stood up to him and didn’t let him get away with it
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and in my opinion he had a more fair and meaningful relationship with his actresses after my confrontation so there is hope
let’s hope this statement supports the actresses and actors all over
let’s stop this
there is a wave of change in the world