JENNIFER Lawrence has revealed that one of her earliest acting jobs was rife with sexual harassment, from demands to lose weight to being propositioned for pornography.
"When I was much younger and starting out, I was told by producers of a film to lose 15 pounds in two weeks," the Oscar winner said at the Elle Women in Hollywood event on Monday. "[It was] sort of crazy. One girl before me had already been fired for not losing enough weight fast enough. During this time a female producer had me do a nude line-up with about five women who were much, much, thinner than me. We are stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates."
"After that degrading and humiliating line-up, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet," Lawrence, 27, added with a chuckle. "I can laugh now, it's OK."
Lawrence claimed that her director at the time only made matters worse and more uncomfortable than they were already.
"He asked me to star in a porno as the character," she revealed, "among many other things that are too inappropriate to repeat here in this dress." She added, "He said he didn't know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was 'perfectly f**kable.'"
The mother! star continued, "I was trapped, and I can see that now. I didn't want to be a whistleblower, I didn't want these embarrassing stories talked about in a magazine, I just wanted a career … In all of the sadness, I think it's been oddly unifying. It's so fundamental to the female experience to be mistreated and to feel ashamed of it."
"In a dream world, everyone is treated with the same amount of respect. But until we reach that goal, I will lend my ear, I will lend my voice to any boy, girl, man or woman who does not feel like they can protect themselves," she continued. "I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt I had to for my career," she said. "I'm still learning that I don't have to smile when a man makes me uncomfortable. Every human being should have the power to be treated with respect because they're human."
In a powerful speech at the same event, fellow A-lister Reese Witherspoon alleged she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was 16, but was told to remain silent by agents and producers.
Lawrence also expressed her support for a Hollywood commission proposed by Kathleen Kennedy that is aimed at ending sexual harassment in the industry.
"I want you to know we're here for you," she said. "We're all here for each other. Together, now, we will stop this kind of behaviour from happening. We will stop normalising these horrific situations. We will change this narrative and make a difference for all of those individuals pursuing their dreams."
Lawrence's speech comes on the heels of two blistering exposés on producer Harvey Weinstein, accusing him of decades of sexual harassment and sexual assault of starlets including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Asia Argento and Rose McGowan.
Lawrence previously told Variety of Weinstein, "I was deeply disturbed to hear the news about Harvey Weinstein's behaviour. I worked with Harvey five years ago and I did not experience any form of harassment personally, nor did I know about any of these allegations. This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting. My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward."
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and is republished here with permission.
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