Saturday 17 August 2019

Jodie Foster: Women have always dealt with inappropriate sexual behaviour

The Hollywood star spoke about gender inequality in the industry.

Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Jodie Foster has said “inappropriate sexual stuff” is something that is a foundation of women’s lives in the workplace, and is rife across all industries.

Speaking about the culture of sexual harassment in Hollywood and the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Foster added that people should not just be “talking about some pig in the bathrobe” but listening to the “amazing narratives by really smart, interesting, accomplished women”.

The actress told The Jonathan Ross Show, when asked if she had ever encountered inappropriate behaviour: “I think it would be very difficult to find any woman in this audience that hasn’t had some brush with inappropriate sexual stuff happening in the workplace.

The Jonathan Ross Show

“That is a foundation of our life as women. It is something that we have dealt with our whole lives.

“It happens in every industry whether it’s the Supreme Court in the United States or the Presidency or the guy next door, men, women, old, young, it is everywhere.”

Foster, 54, added: “And I think this is a moment of consciousness in the world.

“I think that’s a watershed moment that we should all pay attention to, that there are places and there are people that you can talk to and watching and listening to these amazing narratives by really smart, interesting, accomplished women, not just talking about some pig in the bathrobe but talking about what it is to be raised as a woman and how small brushes that you have with being demoralised and being put upon have such effect and I think it’s a great time for people to become conscious.”

Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cara Delevingne are among the high-profile women who have made claims about Weinstein’s behaviour towards them.

Weinstein, who is the subject of police investigations in Los Angeles, New York and London, has denied allegations of non-consensual sex.

Foster also spoke of how some people in the industry still consider female directors to be a “risk”.

“Little by little there are more women technicians, there were more roles for women as I became older but we have a long way to go, especially with women directors,” she said.

Harvey Weinstein

Foster, who has taken a step back from acting to go behind the camera in recent years, said there is a growth in female directors in indie films and television and in Europe.

She added: “But for some reason, mainstream movies there really are so few women directors and that does not seem to be changing fast… I don’t think it’s a plot or a conspiracy people have. I think nobody is paying attention and I think that people don’t realise the kind of profiling and race psychology that they apply to the risks that they take.

“Movies are big risks. The bigger the movie, the more the financial strata says we want to keep the risk small and for some reason women are risks, I don’t know why that is.”

Foster was joined on Ross’ show by Britain’s Got Talent judge and author David Walliams, Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein and comic Roisin Conaty.

:: The Jonathan Ross Show airs Saturday November 4 at 10.05pm on ITV

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