Not all Hollywood stars have stayed silent about the industry's pattern of sexual abuse. In fact, the late Carrie Fisher was one who made sure to prevent it.
As stories involving Hollywood producer and serial harasser Harvey Weinstein continue to pour in, screenwriter Heather Robinson told reporters that Fisher once sent a cow’s tongue wrapped in a Tiffany box to a producer who attempted to sexual abuse Robinson.
The 2000 incident involved an Oscar-winning executive who wasn't named by the victim.
Fisher decided to intervene after the producer attempted to force himself onto Robinson during a car ride. So, along the cow's tongue, Robinson said that Fisher also sent a note that read, “If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.”
Robinson had told Fisher about the encounter in an email exchange, and two weeks later, the "Star Wars" icon told the screenwriter she had personally sent the box to Sony studios to make sure the predatory executive got the message.
Robinson said that she never spoke of the incident publicly out of fear of retaliation. But she also said that, at the time, she thought she was the one to blame and felt embarrassed by what had happened.
“It happened so quickly that I was ashamed of myself,” she told reporters. “I thought that I had done something wrong. I thought that, having lunch or dinner with him, I was asking for it. So I stayed quiet for years, because I didn’t want the retribution.”
Unfortunately, Robinson said, this incident, along with others allegedly involving Weinstein, are part of Hollywood’s culture of harassment.
Too often, victims remain silent out of fear because the abuser is a powerful Hollywood figure. Yet as victims are beginning to come forward to denounce Weinstein, others who have been victimized by different producers and directors should also come forward with their stories.
“There’s a very well-known director who I’ve been friends with for a long time,” Robinson said when talking about how widespread the abuse is. “I thought that he was amazing. I got a message from somebody that said ‘I just wanted you to know that I appreciated you speaking up and this person raped me and you should know that.’”
Fisher stood up to the abuse and used her own power to put an executive in his place so that her friend wouldn’t be attacked again. Still, countless other victims have never had their voices heard. This disturbing reality serves as a stark reminder to why we should all be taking a stand.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett