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Westworld’s Thandie Newton on why she feels excluded from Time’s Up

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Susan Devaney
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Actress Thandie Newton has opened up in a recent interview about why she feels excluded from the Time’s Up initiative. 

From Meryl Streep to Emma Watson, the Time’s Up initiative has seen some of Hollywood’s biggest names come together to fight for gender equality.

However, some people within the film industry feel that the successful women-led initiative is not as inclusive as it should be – especially British actress Thandie Newton.

“I have been an activist for 20 years. It’s been a long time coming,” Newton told Australia’s Herald Sun, referring to the positive impact of the #MeToo movement.

“I certainly agitated for it to happen sooner, but no one was interested and people thought I was a bummer. Even my publicist told me to stop talking about it because it was bad for my reputation.

“I wasn’t seen as a f**kable member of a movie set and I was passed over for roles because of it,” said Newton. “I was ostracised because I wouldn’t stop talking about it.”

Back in 2013, Newton first shared her #MeToo story, revealing disturbing details of allegedly being sexually abused during an audition at the age of 18.

“There was one horrific incident where I went back for a second audition,” Newton explained to CNN. “The director asked me to sit with my legs apart; the camera was right positioned where it could see up my skirt.”

Newton said the director told her to “put my leg over the arm of the chair, and before I started my dialogue, think about the character I was supposed to be having the dialogue with and how it felt to be made love to by this person.”

Newton then later learned from someone within the industry that the director had apparently used the recording to entertain guests at his parties. 

At this year’s Golden Globes actresses wore black in solidarity for the Time’s Up initiative. 

However, even though Newton had the courage to share her story years before the #MeToo movement began, she’s said that she had “not been invited” to be part of the industry’s Time’s Up initiative.

And the actress – who’s starred in films such as The Pursuit of Happyness and Mission Impossible 2 – feels the lack of inclusion has left her feeling “lonely”.

“When Time’s Up was put together, to not be invited to be a part of it, was very, very painful,” Newton explained. “It’s hard for me, as someone who has been talking about it for a long time… it’s lonely.

Ultimately, Newton has drawn the conclusion that she’s not been included because she’s not as well-known as other actresses. 

“I wasn’t hot enough. I wasn’t mainstream enough and I wasn’t going to be at the Oscars this year, even though I am having a kind of renaissance in my career.”

Going forward, it has been confirmed that Newton will now receive equal pay for her role in the third season of Westworld – along with her co-star, Evan Rachel Wood.

However, it’s disappointing to hear that someone so vocal about the industry’s systemic abuse feels cast aside by a movement that’s meant to help all women. Let’s do more to be inclusive.

Images: Getty / Rex Features