Adding her voice to countless actresses who have spoken out about sexual misconduct and harassment following the beginning of the Me Too era nearly two years ago, Sarah Jessica Parker has opened up a male co-star's inappropriate behaviour towards her on set, which got so bad that she had to ask for her rep to intervene.
Speaking on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast, Parker said that it wasn't until around “six or eight months ago” that she really realised how many experiences she had had throughout her career in the film industry that aligned with the Me Too movement - and that one incident, in particular, stuck out in her memory more than the rest.
“I started recognising countless experiences of men behaving poorly, inappropriately, and all the ways that I had made it possible to keep coming to work or to remain on set, or to simply ... just push it down, push it away, find a little space for it and move on,” she said.
The Sex and the City actress went on to reveal that a well-known actor - in her words, "a very big movie star" - once behaved so inappropriately with her on set that she had to ask her management to step in. Without revealing her male co-star's name, Parker said he was "behaving, not only inappropriately, but perhaps even I would say, [he wasn't] living up to contractual obligations as well."
“I didn't feel entirely in a position — no matter what my role was on set — I didn't feel as powerful as the man who was behaving inappropriately, which ... strikes me as just stunning to say out loud, because there were plenty of occasions where it was happening and I was in a different position and I was as powerful. I mean, I had every right to say, ‘This is inappropriate.’ I could have felt safe in going to a superior,” she said.
Eventually, Parker says the situation got so bad she asked her manager to step in for the first time in her career. “I felt I was no longer able to convey how uncomfortable this was making me, how inappropriate it was," she said. “[My agent] said to them, ‘If this continues, I have sent her a ticket, a one-way ticket out of this city’ — where I was shooting — ‘and she will not be returning.’"
"The nature of the person who I felt was really the instigator, this was a grown man, a very big movie star and, you know, he was baked, meaning his personality, it was cooked,” she continued. “He was a formed person and that wasn’t going to change. But [after the intervention], I felt certainly better and safer, like I could finish what I had agreed to do... I didn’t have to be coy any longer, and I didn’t have to dread a potential conversation. I didn’t have to listen to jokes about me, or my figure, or what people thought they could talk me into doing … All these men. All these men. That stopped.”