The Weinstein effect has taken Hollywood by storm. A plethora of women have come forward addressing their unfortunate sexual harassment experiences because of the most powerful man in Hollywood, Mr. Harvey Weinstein. The list now also includes the charming Salma Hayek.
36 famous Hollywood personalities including, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie have come forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
Ms. Hayek decided to pen down her awful experience with the famous Hollywood producer in an intimate piece for The New York Times.
Ms. Hayek’s story begins where she was at the start of her career, a relatively unknown person in Hollywood. When Hayek was looking to make it big in the industry, Weinstein’s empire was the avenue to do it.
She wanted to make her dream project called Frida, which was a story about a Mexican artist named Frida Kahlo.
However, Hayek had a horrible experience working with him. Weinstein would make inappropriate requests to her which she persistently denied over a long period.
Weinstein would ask her to take showers with him, let a naked friend of his massage her, allow him to give her oral sex and watch her take a shower, and even show up at her hotel doors asking her to let him in!
Moreover, Salma revealed that the word “no” did not go down with Weinstein. As she put’s it in the piece “with every refusal came Harvey’s Machiavellian rage.” Also, his anger one time went to the extreme, where he threatened to kill Salma. He stated, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
Salma told that when she refused to give into his demands, he offered her dream project to another actress. That is pathetic!
Salma retaliated and sued Weinstein in a “bad faith” lawsuit. In light of that, she got her project back but with a daunting list of tasks that were dumped on her by Weinstein. Salma had to rewrite the script, raise $10 million to spend on the film, cast a team of well-known actors who would work with her and get a great director to work on the project.
Salma delivered on all these tasks successfully and got people on board. But Weinstein continued to make her life miserable. He said that she was not making use of her sex appeal which was apparently the only thing she had.
Salma emotionally expresses how she was only “a body” for this man. He disregarded her hard work and incredible talent and made sure she knew that those were just not enough to sell an original story. Salma needed to show her assets to gain an audience for her project.
She confessed that the first and last time she had a nervous breakdown in her career was when she gave into Harvey’s demand of doing a lesbian sex scene for the movie. It was not the scene that made her uncomfortable but rather fulfilling this evil man’s sexist demands.
Salma wrote, “I arrived on the set the day we were to shoot the scene that I believed would save the movie. And for the first time and last time in my career, I had a nervous breakdown: My body began to shake uncontrollably, my breath was short, and I began to cry and cry unable to stop as if I were throwing up tears.”
The movie went on to become a huge success and with six Academy Award nominations and two wins.
Salma had kept quiet for years about her experience. However, she finally decided that it was time to speak up against her “monster.”
Salma is relieved now that women can openly raise their voice against the perpetrators of sexual harassment.
Furthermore, other women have also narrated their horrible experiences with the Hollywood producer.
Angelina Jolie told The New York Times that,”I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did. This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
Moreover, Gwyneth Paltrow narrated her experience to The New York Times. She said that after a meeting in his hotel suite, Weinstein asked Paltrow to accompany him for a massage. He did this by placing a hand on the actresses thigh. She felt very uncomfortable.
Lupita Nyong’o revealed to The New York Times as well that Harvey Weinstein offered her a massage at his house in Connecticut. However, to escape the awkward situation, she offered to massage him instead.
Lupita described that in the middle of the massage, the director said that he wanted to take his pants off. The model felt extremely uncomfortable and left the room.
The list goes on. God knows how many more skeletons are hidden in Mr. Weinstein’s closet.