Jane Seymour Reveals Her "Disgusting" #MeToo Moment
"It made no sense... I was already a well-known actress."
Fact: Right when you're beginning to think that Hollywood has officially run out of horrifying sexual harassment stories, the floodgates will inevitably open to reveal several more. Just last month, Jennifer Lopez revealed to Harper's Bazaar that she had been asked to take her shirt off many times for a director. Before that, a clip of Sharon Stone circulated on the Internet in which an interviewer asked her if she had ever personally "experienced sexual harassment." Her response? An are-you-kidding-me laugh.
Recently, I sat down with Jane Seymour, 67, to discuss her own reckoning with the #MeToo movement. Seymour, who currently stars in the aerobics comedy Let's Get Physical, first hit it big as the Bond girl Solitaire in the 1973 film Live and Let Die, before appearing in a string of films and TV series in the 1980s, including East of Eden, for which she won a Golden Globe. She later earned enormous popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s for her starring role in the series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Younger generations best know her for her role in the 2005 comedy Wedding Crashers.
Looking back today, Seymour says her #MeToo moment came when she was 24.
"Clearly, I was the only one that didn't get the memo that this was the way things worked," Seymour said.
While she declined to offer exact details, Seymour said that, at one point, a powerful person on the set of a major film asked her to perform a sexual act she didn't want to do.
She said no.
"I obviously didn't get the job," she said, "and the people who had sent me there—my agent and another producer—both knew that this man was completely out of control doing that kind of thing. So, what they were thinking I don't know, because it made no sense…. I was already a well-known actress. It was absolutely disgusting."
"It hasn't happened to me since because I don't think I give off a vibe of being unaware," she added. "I'm not as green as I was in those days. You know, after that, if that kind of thing would happen, I would just get out of the way. I would just go, 'Thank you but no thank you.' Or I'd say, 'Gosh, I'm married, [but] how flattering.'"
Seymour said she would like to emphasize, however, that she's "not against anyone making her own choices," explaining that she doesn't see anything wrong with an actress choosing to sleep with someone in order to get a part in a movie, provided that it's done out of free will.
"There's lots of people who use their beauty, their sexuality, for whatever purpose. I'm not a prude or anything. It just wasn't my choice," she said. "The only thing I have a problem with is anyone who forces themselves on anyone or rapes anybody or anything that happens to young children. I'm very very upset by that. And I do think it's wrong to take work away from people based on the fact that they won't perform an act."
When asked if she believes that things are really changing in Hollywood as a result of the movement, Seymour responded as follows:
"I think people are much more careful right now. And hopefully women are more careful to give off the right vibe. I mean, if you're dressing in nothing and lolling around, and you're basically kind of saying, 'Hey, I'm available,' and then somebody says, 'Oh, yes let's,' you can't possibly, you know, you have to be a bit careful about the message you put out there."
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