“Because I was a child actor, my body was public domain”: Former child star Mara Wilson condemns sexualisation of child actors
Former child actress Mara Wilson, from Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire, has penned an essay condemning the sexualisation of child actors.Read more
The Pussycat Dolls, founded in Los Angeles in 1995 as a burlesque dance troupe, sold “an estimated 15 million albums and 40 million singles worldwide,” becoming one of the most successful female vocal groups ever formed, according to AXS.
However in an article by Mike Miller, as described by former member Kaya Jones, it all came at a painful cost.
A founding member of the group, Jones left in 2004, saying it had “stopped being fun.” Now, we know at least a major part of the reason why.
In a series of tweets in the wake of the Hollywood explosion over the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, Jones told her own story — and that of an untold number of other young women. She compared being in the group to being in a prostitution ring:
“Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
Seth McFarlane's Oscar quip wasn't funny in 2013, but at the time it was met with dutiful Hollywood laughter. Now, after revelations of Weinstein's alarming reported history of sexual harassment, the line is being recycled as further evidence of Hollywood's best-kept secret. But it's also evidence of how the industry treats such behavior: as a joke.
Since the studio era, the "casting couch" has been the subject of both humor and lore—an alliterative term used to polish the noir memory of old Hollywood, and to punch out a take-my-wife laugh. More often than not, it was also used to shame and denigrate successful actresses. (For reference see Marilyn Monroe's persona, the term "blond bimbo," the movie Bowfinger, or this oft-repeated one-liner: "There's an actress so dumb she slept with a writer.")
The idea that such sexual misconduct was a secret up until now is patently false. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Judy Garland has detailed horrifying accounts of sexual harassment and assault, though many of those accounts were once relegated to celebrity biographies and listicles. That's to say, nobody took them seriously.Read more