The Real Reason Thandie Newton Was Excluded From the #TimesUp Movement
Thandie Newton stars in HBO’s current hit show, Westworld. In the show, she plays a robot madam named Maeve Millay. Maeve undergoes a transformation unlike any of the other robots on the show, mostly due to the fact that, from the get-go, her character takes matters into her own hands.
Newton has been experiencing sexual harassment in the entertainment industry from an early point in her career. From then on, she’s taken matters into her own hands to change the narrative about sexual assault and misconduct for actresses everywhere. You can imagine her disappointment, then, when she wasn’t asked to be a part of #TimesUp.
The Time’s Up movement
The Time’s Up movement began in 2017. It started as an initiative to reveal and fight against the rampant sexual harassment and inequality that takes place in the entertainment industry. It has since grown to include women of all occupations.
“The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it,” reads the movement’s website.
Next: The big names attached to #TimesUp
The Time’s Up movement has some big names attached to it. Some of its supporters and advocates include Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Aniston, and Emma Watson, to name a few.
Thandie Newton, however, was never asked to be a part of the movement, despite having spoken out against sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry for years.
Next: Her best guess as to why she was excluded
Why Thandie Newton feels she was excluded
“I wasn’t hot enough. I wasn’t mainstream enough and I wasn’t going to be at the Oscars this year, even though I am having a kind of renaissance in my career,” Newton told The Telegraph.
Next: Newton says being excluded was “very, very painful.”
How she feels about not being included in #TimesUp
Newton was hurt to not be included in the movement right away, especially as an advocate of 20 years.
“When Time’s Up was put together, to not be invited to be a part of it, was very, very painful,” she told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper. “It’s hard for me, as someone who has been talking about it for a long time… it’s lonely.”
Next: The skeezy director who inspired her to start speaking up
She’s been fighting the good fight for a long time
Early on in Newton’s career, “a director, on a callback, had a camera shooting up my skirt and asked me to touch my tits and think about the guy making love to me in the scene.I thought, ‘Ok, this is a little weird,’ but there was a female casting director in the room and I’d done weird stuff before so I did it,” she told W Magazine.
A few years later, she learned the director would show the audition tape to his friends after poker games at his house. Thus began her journey in speaking out.
Next: Her publicist urged her to stop speaking about sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.
Newton feels speaking out has cost her parts
“I wasn’t seen as a f***able member of a movie set and I was passed over for roles because of it,” she told The Telegraph. “I was ostracized because I wouldn’t stop talking about it.”
She said even her publicist asked her to stop talking about it, because it was bad for her reputation.
Next: She’s making a difference on a major network.
HBO is making strides
Though she wasn’t invited to directly participate in the Time’s Up movement, Newton and her Westworld co-star, Evan Rachel Wood, have been working to make a difference on their current set. According to The Telegraph, the two actresses have renegotiated their salaries and will now be paid the same as their male co-stars, Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris.
Additionally, HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, said around the same time that HBO is currently undergoing a wide-scale pay review to make sure there are no “inappropriate disparities in pay.”
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