"This has been going on a long time to black women and other women of colour."
Jane Fonda has shared her thoughts on the recent outpouring of allegations regarding widespread sexual abuse in Hollywood.
The American actress was speaking with feminist icon Gloria Steinem, with whom she founded the non-profit Women’s Media Center, to MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes on Wednesday when she discussed the scandal.
“It feels like something has shifted,” Fonda told Hayes.
“It’s too bad that it’s probably because so many of the women that were assaulted by Harvey Weinstein are famous and white and everybody knows them. This has been going on a long time to black women and other women of colour and it doesn’t get out quite the same.”
Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual assault, abuse and harassment by numerous women.
The majority of survivors to name the producer, with the notable exception of Lupita Nyong’o, have been famous white women, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Rose McGowan.
Yesterday, Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe became the latest woman to come forward with rape allegations against the producer.
Steinem added that the strength in numbers was a contributing factor in the volume of survivors coming forward with fresh allegations of abuse.
“If you steal money, you probably get arrested and convicted, because everybody says stealing is wrong. But if you do something that is very sexist or racist, because there still is a critical mass of bias in this country, it takes more cumulative instances for it to be recognised,” she said. “So we have reached a tipping point I think.”
In March this year, Fonda revealed that she had been raped and sexually abused as a child, and claims to have been fired because she refused to sleep with a boss.
“I always thought it was my fault; that I didn’t do or say the right thing.”
Fonda added: “I know young girls who’ve been raped and didn’t even know it was rape. They think, ‘It must have been because I said ‘no’ the wrong way’.”
Yesterday, a former employee at Weinstein’s production company Miramax described the allegations as the “rancid tip of the iceberg”.
For help, advice or more information regarding sexual assault, visit the RAINN charity website.