Natalie Portman speaks out: 'I have 100 stories' about sexual harassment

The Israeli-born actress reflected on experiences of sexual harassment at a panel in Los Angeles this week.

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November 21, 2017 09:38
1 minute read.
Natalie Portman

Actor Natalie Portman speaks onstage at the Women's March in Los Angeles on January 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (photo credit: EMMA MCINTYRE / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

 
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Speaking at a panel hosted by Vulture in Los Angeles this week, Natalie Portman said she has "100 stories" about sexual harassment.

In recent weeks, allegations of sexual assault and harassment against prominent actors, comedians, politicians and journalists have been seemingly nonstop. The onslaught of accusations began when several women came forward with stories of assault by now-disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

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Portman said that, until recent allegations arose, she had never considered herself to have been a victim of harassment.

"When I heard everything coming out, I was like, wow, I'm so lucky that I haven't had this,'' she said. ''And then, on reflection, I was like, okay, definitely never been assaulted, definitely not, but I've had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I've ever worked on in some way. I went from thinking I don't have a story to thinking, Oh wait, I have 100 stories.''

She shared a story of being invited to fly on a company jet with a film producer; when the two boarded the plane, a single bed had been prepared for them. "Nothing happened, I was not assaulted,'' she said. She expressed her discomfort with the situation, which she said the producer respected.

Portman, who was born in Jerusalem and began acting professionally when she was 13 years old, said that in her younger years, she shied away from roles that were overtly sexual, saying that she did not want to be seen as ''a Lolita.''

She also highlighted the pattern of male dominance in the film industry, noting that almost everyone from directors and producers to crew members - ''apart from hair, makeup and wardrobe - the very stereotypical departments for women to be in'' - are men.

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