Safety at every single audition
Something really really bad happened a few years ago. I am okay. I didn’t get hurt, but someone else did. Physically and emotionally. And there may have been more women I don’t know about. Police were involved. An arrest was made. Hopefully that’s the end of that particular predator trying it on with young vulnerable actors.
I wish this story was a one off. I wish it rarely happened. But one thing I’ve seen on social media is that the #metoo movement (which started in October 2017 on social media) is shining a light on just how bad it is, and how long we’ve let this BS go on for. And I have something to say myself.
Dear jerk who tried to assault me,
Enough is enough. Every woman (and man placed in the same predicament) deserves better. Our bodies are our own. They aren’t some piece of collateral to barter with. You don’t get to make demands and then say my career will or won’t be a success based on how willing I am to do “things” for you. You don’t get to touch me without my permission. You don’t get to put your hands on my body like I’m some woman being paid for the privilege of delighting you. No, you don’t get any of that. You don’t get a free ride to go groping and poking and prodding and touching.
What you do get is a big – GO TO JAIL. Directly to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
I hope they put you away and I hope you have to stay in there for a long long time and think about everything you did to every single woman out there. I hope you feel like a complete moron when you think about all the pitiful, shameful things you’ve done. I hope you feel guilty and dirty and repentant. And then I hope you get released and you go out there and choose to be a better version of yourself. That you choose to show other men the right way to behave, and how to treat women with respect and love and sensitivity. I hope one day that the remorse you feel makes you want to send a personal letter to each and every woman that you hurt. I hope that you feel the pain you caused and that it hurts you as much as you hurt me when you decided to touch me.
I forgive you.
My heart will never ever stop hurting for every person out there whose story I read (or hear) where they have been abused emotionally and/or physically. I want to wake up one day in a society that knows that the strength a man (often) possesses over a woman doesn’t equate to them feeling like it’s fine to use it to hurt or victimise a woman with brute force, or worse, that multiple men might do that repeatedly. And vice versa when a man is attacked by a woman of greater strength or by one who uses emotional abuse to harm him.
I want to wake up in a society one day where colour doesn’t matter. It matters as little as if you went and got a tan over the summer holidays. Where humans are valued by their intellect and thoughtfulness and kindness and ability to help one another and live harmoniously and to contribute to a better society all round.
I want 2019 to be better than the last.
And finally, for anyone out there who does attend auditions, here is my Backstage expert piece on being safe in auditions. I want every single woman to know how to protect herself so that she can happily continue to pursue a career that she loves.
I want #Iloveyou to be the hashtag that trends this year.