Natalie Portman Shares Experiences With Harassment and Sexism | IndieWire
For Portman, one of the major issues that allows harassment and abuse to occur on sets is the general lack of women. The actress explained how the lack of women on set creates a feeling of isolation, which prevents people from speaking out against acts of harassment and assault.
“The surprising thing is it almost feels strategic to keep you away from other women, because you don’t have the opportunity to share stories,” Portman said of the lack of women on set. “All these accusations are like, ‘Oh yeah, everyone was isolated from each other,’ people didn’t share. They didn’t realize that there were hundreds of people with similar stories. It prevents mentorship of women by other women because you’re just not exposed to it.”
The Oscar winner admitted she’s been fortunate enough to work with male directors who value her opinion, from Darren Aronofsky to Mike Nichols and Pablo Larrain, but she did recall getting yelled at and being told by one male director that she was “exhausting” to work with. Portman did not reveal the director’s name, but said it was frustrating to be criticized for speaking her opinion while her male co-star was allowed to speak freely.
“I was like, ‘I’m exhausting for telling you my opinion about my job?’ And it was completely different with male actors next to me in the same room,” she said. “To the point where one of the male actors I was working with stood up for me in that meeting, because he said, ‘You know, you’re completely not listening to her and you’re completely listening to me and we’re saying almost the same thing.’”