Dakota Johnson is speaking out on behalf of grandmother Tippi Hedren, who starred in two of director Alfred Hitchcock’s most acclaimed films — and was left scarred from the experience.
During a live taping of The Hollywood Reporter‘s “Awards Chatter” podcast, as reported by People, Johnson discussed the trauma her grandmother endured while making “The Birds” and “Marnie”, which Hedren has detailed in her 2016 memoir and which formed the basis of the 2012 HBO movie “The Girl”.
During the podcast taping, Johnson said her grandmother had always been “encouraging” of her acting aspirations, yet didn’t sugarcoat the sexual harassment she experienced during her heyday in the 1950s and ’60s
“She’s always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself. That’s what she did,” Johnson said. “[Alfred] Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn’t want to sleep with him, and he terrorized her. He was never held accountable.”
In her book, Hedren alleges that Hitchcock sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions; when she spoke out, she became a pariah in Hollywood while Hitchcock’s career continued to thrive.
“It’s completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry,” Johnson said, reportedly becoming emotional. “It’s hard to talk about because she’s my grandmother. You don’t want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother.”
The “50 Shades of Gray” star went on to praise the strength of her grandmother, who celebrated her 91st birthday in January.
“I think the thing that she’s been so amazing for me and with my mother is just like, no you do not put up with that s**t from anybody,” Johnson said. “She would say it in a far more eloquent way. She’s such a glamorous movie star, still.”