Stories continue to come out of Hollywood at an alarming rate, tales of abuse happening on film and television sets, theater stages and hotels where deals are supposed to get done. A door has been kicked open by the allegations levied against one-time producer and studio executive Harvey Weinstein, and names like Kevin Spacey, Louis CK and Brett Ratner have been swept up in the conversation as more stories come to light. Ellen Page is the latest to share her story about Ratner, who directed her in X-Men: The Last Stand. About that experience, Page now says:
'You should fuck her to make her realize she's gay.' He said this about me during a cast and crew 'meet and greet' before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand. I was eighteen years old. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: 'You should fuck her to make her realize she's gay.' He was the film's director, Brett Ratner.
I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn't say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He 'outed' me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic. I proceeded to watch him on set say degrading things to women. I remember a woman walking by the monitor as he made a comment about her 'flappy pussy.'
In a lengthy post on her Facebook page, Ellen Page recounts the experiences she says she endured while filming the X-Men sequel, with Brett Ratner at the helm. She talks about how Ratner's outing of her sexual preference left her feeling ashamed. She later says that her defiance to actions proposed to her by Ratner's team left her ostracized, when she felt it was the director who should have been reprimanded for his behavior. Page elaborated:
I got into an altercation with Brett at a certain point. He was pressuring me, in front of many people, to don a t-shirt with 'Team Ratner' on it. I said no and he insisted. I responded, 'I am not on your team.' Later in the day, producers of the film came to my trailer to say that I 'couldn't talk like that to him.' I was being reprimanded, yet he was not being punished nor fired for the blatantly homophobic and abusive behavior we all witnessed. I was an actor that no one knew. I was eighteen and had no tools to know how to handle the situation.
Earlier, six women -- including fellow X-Men actress Olivia Munn -- went on record to accuse Brett Ratner of sexually harassing them. Ratner, at the time, was a director responsible for films like Rush Hour and Tower Heist. Ratner has since become a significant producer under his RatPac banner.
Ellen Page's narrative now joins a chorus of stories being published regarding people in the film industry, and the industry as a whole is reeling. Reactions to the allegations (or confirmed accusations, like the ones made against Louis CK) are leading to wholesale changes, such as roles being replaced or movies being scrapped to contain the fallout. But every time a new story drops, it reminds us how far-reaching this issue seems to be in the entertainment world.