Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams join the legion of women sharing disturbing alleged experiences with sexual harassment.
The two stars spoke to Vanity Fair about the obstacles they have faced as women in Hollywood in the aftermath of countless accusations levied against studio executive Harvey Weinstein.
But Weinstein isn’t the only figure in film facing a scandal. Over 200 women have slung allegations of sexual harassment or assault against director James Toback, following an expose published by the Los Angeles Times.
“I really believed that when he started to talk… that he was going to be my mentor,” Blair said of an alleged meeting with Toback at the hotel. “That is how he got into my brain. You know, in acting classes they get into your personal history and connect that to work. So this conversation didn’t seem that strange.”
Blair, now 45, accused Toback of saying he could have her father killed and asking her to perform a naked scene. Toback allegedly asked to have sex with her and refused to let her leave the room.
“I felt disgust and shame, and like nobody would ever think of me as being clean again after being this close to the devil,” she recalled. “His energy was so sinister.”
McAdams, now 38, said she had a similar encounter with the director. “This has been such a source of shame for me — that I didn’t have the wherewithal to get up and leave,” she said of an incident where Toback allegedly behaved in a sexually explicit-manner towards her.
“I kept thinking, ‘This is going to become normal any minute now,'” McAdams continued. “‘This is going to all make sense. This is all above board somehow.’ Eventually I just realized that it wasn’t.”
The Oscar-nominated actress called to put an end to such inappropriate and threatening behaviour. “This has all got to stop,” McAdams told the publication. “We need to start acknowledging what an epidemic this is, and what a deep-seated problem this is.”
Adding, “You have to get it all out in the open and in the light so that we can really understand how pervasive this is. I think we almost have to exhaust ourselves sharing our experiences before the rebuilding can begin. And hopefully we never slip back into this darkness again.”
The publication of the story was met by a shoutout from Rob Schneider, who co-starred with McAdams in his 2002 comedy “The Hot Chick”.
“Rachel McAdams, I’m so proud of you,” writes the “Deuce Bigalow” star on Twitter. “Not just as one of our greatest actors, but also for being such an amazing, strong human being.”
Toback told Vanity Fair he had no comment in response to Blair or McAdams’ allegations.