Rebel Wilson spoke out about “gross behavior” from a former co-star
The star added her voice to the wealth of upsetting #MeToo stories from sets.
This story contains a result of sexual misconduct.
Rebel Wilson has revealed in an interview with People that she has had a #MeToo moment in the industry, before #MeToo was a hashtag that empowered women to come forward. When discussing her new Netflix film Senior Year, she said that along with bringing “hilariousness and heart” to the role, she also sought to create an environment of respect on set — a direct result of her experience. “Because there's a lot of young cast in the film, I wanted to make sure there's a lot of respect for everybody.”
The incident in question happened with an unnamed co-star on the set of an unidentified film. “He called me into a room and pulled down his pants," and in front of his friends, he asked her to perform a sexual act. “It was awful and disgusting. And all the behavior afterwards — this was all before #MeToo — where they kind of tried to destroy me and my career. If it had happened after #MeToo, then I could have just blasted them.”
Wilson did try to do what she could, while still suffering from the lack of power society affords women in those situations. “Because I'm a lawyer, I documented it. I called my rep. I got certain things in writing about what happened,” she said. “Definitely amongst industry circles, I made sure people knew what happened.” Regardless of her current star power, or the more fortified avenues women have to protect themselves and get justice in these situations today, the incident still took its toll. She admitted, "Why did I stay in that situation … with that awful guy? I should have left. It wasn't worth it. But at the same time, I was like, ‘Oh well, do the right thing, be a professional and finish the movie.’ Now I would never do that.”
Wilson went on to sadly note that while the sexual misconduct she experienced was deeply disturbing, it’s the tip of the iceberg of what women endure. “I thought even complaining to my agency was a big step. And to complain to the studio. I found out I was like the fourth person to complain about the guy. Such gross behavior, but a lot of women have had it way worse,” she said. “If it happened again, I would probably stand up for myself even more just because of the bravery of the other women that have stood up and now allowed me an opportunity.”
Like many women, Wilson forced herself to change the narrative and empower herself through the trauma of the experience. “I want to have strong girl-power and female empowerment themes in the movies that I make. I want to entertain people and I want people to walk away with something positive.” Of Senior Year specifically, she says, "We made it with love, and we shot it in Atlanta and there's so many new, fresh faces in the film who I'm very proud of as a producer. As the mama of the film in a way, I'm very, very proud of them and all the hard work that everybody did.”