Magazine article Variety

Justice League

Magazine article Variety

Justice League

Article excerpt

If we've learned anything, it's that there's power in numbers. One lone voice may have gone unnoticed, but the chorus of those who have risen up to share their stories has ensured that justice has a chance to be served. Their courage has sparked a sea change.

"Women have had enough. We've been shut up and silenced for so long," says actress Natasha Henstridge, who's been in constant contact with other accusers, offering one another advice and support. It was one of those conversations that spurred them to agree to take part in Variety's photo shoot. (While Al Franken has apologized, the others named here have either denied the allegations or not commented publicly.)

"The single biggest impact we can have on society as a whole is changing what stories we tell and who gets to tell them," says actress Sarah Ann Masse. "Representation is so incredibly important."

KATHERINE KENDALL 1

actress

Harvey Weinstein, sexual assault, 1993

"I had lived with [my story] for a long time, and I had accepted that that was just the way things were. Knowing that telling my story helped other women helped me come forward. There was no reason to keep it a secret. That certainly had never served me personally."

LOUISETTE GEISS 2

actress and screenwriter

Harvey Weinstein, sexual assault, 2008

"I decided to go public because overall I did not want Harvey Weinstein to sue The New York Times or continue to claim his encounters were consensual. I did not want to stand by idle and witness Harvey Weinstein say that Ashley Judd or any woman was lying or that our 'story' was so good he should buy the movie rights. My rights had been violated, and I gave up everything I dreamed of and worked so hard for to not be treated like a sex slave. I knew this had to end, and I was willing to take it on for me, my daughters and all women."

LAUREN SIVAN 3

TV reporter and news anchor

Harvey Weinstein, sexual assault, 10 years ago

"In the past when women came forward, they were called liars, gold diggers or worse. They were told to stay quiet if they wanted to keep their jobs, reputation, etc. We need a system that believes women when they come forward, no matter how big or powerful the name they are accusing."

NATASHA HENSTRIDGE 4

actress

Harvey Weinstein, sexual assault

"For me, it was the realization that I was not the only one that changed everything. I think we have a tendency to believe that someone else's bad behavior in some way had to do with something you did. It's an isolated incident until you find out that it's not an isolated incident. When I found that out, I had a much harder time sleeping every night without coming forward. Every single night, I was torn. It ripped me up for a good month. I feel like a different person now. I feel like I can hold my head higher."

JAIME RAY NEWMAN 5

actress

Brett Ratner, sexual harassment, 2005

"Sharing our experiences in brutal honesty is an essential tool. And if the people who have a larger platform can stir conversation and change, then maybe the cultural shiftwill spread to those men and women in the shadows, who work at jobs that don't afford them the power we are so lucky to have. The greatest statistic I've heard recently is that after the [presidential] election, 19,000 women expressed serious interest in running for an elected governmental position. We have an opening right now to fill up positions of power with women and minorities who will level the playing field. That's really all we are asking for - a meritocracy where everyone feels their worth is dependent on talent and drive, intelligence and passion, not their bra size. …

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