Jennifer Lawrence has spoken about a “degrading” experience in Hollywood at the beginning of her career, recalling that she was pressured to lose more than a stone for a film – and forced to stand in a naked line-up with other women in order to assess her body.
With allegations against Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein are gathering pace, more and more women are speaking out about their own sexual harassment and abuse, and the industry’s mistreatment of women in general.
At the Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event, Lawrence told the audience that the outpouring of personal stories was “oddly unifying” – and revealed one of her own shocking experiences in what was reportedly an emotional speech.
According to elle.com, The Hunger Games star Lawrence was told to lose 15lbs in just two weeks, knowing another actor had already lost the role for not losing the weight fast enough.
And as “inspiration”, she says she was made to stand naked alongside other “much thinner” women.
“During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much thinner than me,” she recalled. “We are stood side by side with only tape on covering our privates.
“After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”
Furthermore, she related that after raising concerns with a producer over the “unrealistic diet regime”, he responded by “telling me he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was perfectly f**kable.”
She added: “I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt I had to for my career. I was young and walking that fine line of sticking up for myself without being called ‘difficult’ […] Together, now, we will stop this kind of behaviour from happening. We will stop normalising these horrific situations. We will change this narrative.”
At the same Elle event in Los Angeles, Reese Witherspoon revealed her own experiences with sexual assault spanned her career, saying she’d been assaulted by a director when she was just 16 years old, saying: “I wish that I could tell you that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly it wasn’t. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault and I don’t speak about them very often.”
Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most famed producers, has been sacked from his own company after being accused by multiple women of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct. Police in the US and UK are investigating. He denies any non-consensual sex, but in a statement said he is seeking therapy and “I appreciate the way I've behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain”.
Images: Rex Features