Sexual harassment has become such a pervasive part of our society that some may not even realize they’re victims of misconduct.
Laura Dern had this very revelation following Elle‘s Women in Hollywood event on Monday. The Emmy winner discussed the event — where Reese Witherspoon revealed she was assaulted by a director at 16 — with Ellen DeGeneres for Wednesday’s episode of the chat show.
While at the event Laura touted that she was “one of the lucky ones” as she dodged experiences with sexual misconduct thanks to the guidance of her industry vet parents, Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd. However, hours before appearing on Ellen’s talk show, the 50-year-old realized that she was sexually assaulted as a teen.
The Jurassic Park alum explained:
“It was an extraordinary experience, perhaps more than ever, to have this shared space and a tribe of women and artists talking about this industry, and ultimately therefore talking about sexual harassment in the workplace. And a very interesting thing happened this morning.
I woke up and I realized that in that space I talked about how I was one of the lucky ones because I was raised by actors who told me their stories and told me what to look out for, and I realized that I was I still justifying behavior. And it was my mom who said, ‘No, no, no, Laura—that was sexual assault. That was harassment. That was assault. You were 14 then.'”
How awful. Apparently, prior to her mother bringing up the experience, Laura hadn’t classified it as sexual assault or harassment. She continued:
“You realize how in our culture we have justified, and therefore even condoned behavior, as though it’s the norm.”
It’s sad, but very true. Nonetheless, Dern was “very moved” by the brave stories she heard at the Elle event. In case you didn’t know, Laura and Reese are close friends and recently costarred in Big Little Lies together.
Thankfully, it seems the powerful ladies in Hollywood are determined to build a “commission” so that victims can report abuse. The A-lister concluded:
“The most exciting part is in moving forward, we talked about the forming of a commission, which Kathy Kennedy presented…So to have a place, even anonymously, to reach out and say, ‘There is an abuse of power here and something is not OK.'”
We’re SO on board with this idea!! Bravo.
[Image via EllenTube.]