Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o has added her voice to the tide of outrage over disgraced former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein
Writing in an op-ed in The New York Times, Nyong’o detailed unwelcome encounters with Weinstein, whom she had first met her in Berlin in 2011 when she was a drama student at Yale School Of Drama.
The actress, who went on to win the best supporting actress Oscar for 12 Years A Slave in 2014, described a number of meetings with Weinstein in which he variously offered her a massage, invited her to his rooms, attempted to ply her with alcohol, and tried to offer her film roles.
“I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years,” Nyong’o wrote. “I had felt very much alone when these things happened, and I had blamed myself for a lot of it, quite like many of the other women who have shared their stories.”
She went on to describe how on one occasion she turned down Weinstein’s offer to retire to a private room above Tribeca Grill. “He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them.”
Towards the end of the essay Nyong’o wrote: “Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up.
“Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused. I hope we are in a pivotal moment where a sisterhood – and brotherhood of allies – is being formed in our industry.”