Speaking at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event on Monday ― the star was there to introduce honoree Riley Keough ― Stewart thanked the women who’ve come forward with their stories and seemed to call out Weinstein as “this motherfucker.” (Stewart didn’t name names, but she made it pretty clear who she was referring to.)
“I just want to express how thankful I am to hear what is typically a sort of like murmured, pseudo-conversation because we’ve all been talking about this forever — not to make it specific, but it is, about this motherfucker,” the “American Ultra” actress said, noting it’s a conversation women have had “a million times.”
“If I had someone close to me feel like they couldn’t be helped or were subject to that type of manipulation or torment or fear of any kind really, especially in regards to being in our realm, where we work, where we have taken very apparent strides towards something not quite equal, but somewhere hopeful for sure, I would feel sick, and do, because I know a lot of these women,” she said. “So kudos to those who felt hopeful enough and comfortable enough to be caught and received and heard by those around them, that made it OK to allow themselves to feel better. Because you need to allow yourself to feel better when you feel that bad. And it takes help and we can all be proud of that notion and perpetuate it by saying that we have got you, affirmatively.”
The 27-year-old went on to explain that she’s witnessed sexual harassment in her career on “lesser scales.” And, as she noted, it’s not just actresses who are victims, but also individuals such as makeup artists and camera assistants.
Stewart said she’s “saved” makeup artists countless times “from DPs who are like, ‘Hey babe.’”
“When I say ‘saved’ I mean momentarily been like, ‘Hey, don’t, fucker.’ And then they’re embarrassed for one second, but then it just keeps going every single day,” Stewart said before urging everyone in the audience to be “aware of this on every level.”
“I can tell you that those girls are as duct-taped as one could possibly be, because they’re in fear of getting their next job,” she said.
Stewart wasn’t the only woman to speak out against sexual harassment and abuse within the film industry at the event. Both Jennifer Lawrence and Reese Witherspoon shared their own negative experiences while starting out in Hollywood.
“After hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight about things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not to talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly,” Witherspoon said, adding, “I felt less alone this week than I have ever felt.”
The conversation surrounding sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry has gained momentum in the wake of the Weinstein allegations. Dozens of women, including Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sovino, Rose McGowan and Cara Delevingne, among others, have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and/or harassment against Weinstein, which eventually led to his firing from The Weinstein Company. The producer was also kicked out of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.