Actor Ian McKellen says women share some of the blame in Hollywood’s raging sexual misconduct scandal.
“People must be called out and it’s sometimes very difficult for victims to do that,” he said at the Oxford Union in Oxford, England, according to News Corp Australia Network.
“I hope we’re going through a period that will help to eradicate it altogether,” McKellen added on December 4 when asked about the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
McKellen, who has starred in such movies as “The Return of the Kings,” then shared his account of working in the theater world.
“But from my own experience, when I was starting acting in the early Sixties, the director of the theater I was working at showed me some photographs he got from women who were wanting jobs,” he said.
“Some of them had at the bottom of their photograph ‘DDR’ – directors’ rights respected,” McKellen continued. “In other words, if you give me a job, you can have sex with me.”
“This was commonplace from people who proposed that they should be a victim. Madness. People have taken advantage of that and encouraged it and it absolutely will not do.”
McKellen added that while he supports sexual misconduct victims sharing their stories, he also fears the impact of wrongful accusations.
“I assume nothing but good will come out of these revelations, even though some people get wrongly accused – there’s that side of it as well.”
Myriad women accused Weinstein of inappropriate behavior ranging from sexual assault to harassment last October.
Weinstein fiercely denied any wrongdoing, but the number of accusers prompted the powerful film production company he co-chaired to fire him shortly after the claims emerged.
The scandal has since prompted a global reckoning over sexual misconduct, with women worldwide publicly revealing their struggles with the topic.
Sexual misconduct accusations have since upended the careers of multiple powerful men across fields including entertainment, politics, sports and the media.