Not only has director Brett Ratner been accused of sexual harassment (and worse) by at least six women, but he is also suing one of his accusers for libel. Considering a horrendous Facebook post actress Ellen Page published on Friday, however, the future of Ratner’s libel suit has become more questionable than ever. As for the accusations against him, his allegedly sexist and derogatory behavior towards Page on the set of 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand suggests the many women who’ve already come forward with their stories are not alone.
According to Page, Ratner’s first offense occurred during a pre-production social event for cast and crew members alike. Pointing toward the 18-year-old actress and an unidentified woman who was at least 10 years older, the film director said, “You should f*ck her to make her realize she’s gay.” In other words, Ratner — whom Page stresses didn’t know she was gay since she wouldn’t officially come out for eight years — blatantly announced this older woman should sleep with Page to confirm her sexuality for her. “I felt violated when this happened,” says Page, adding: “I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either.”
Aside from Ratner’s outing Page just before “months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea,” which she adds “we all recognize as homophobic,” she also recalls hearing the director refer to another woman’s “flappy pussy” after the latter walked by the monitor. The episodes ultimately led to an indirect “altercation” between the two, when Page refused to wear a shirt that read “Team Ratner” at the director’s request. After Ratner repeatedly pressured her to wear the shirt, she told him, “I am not on your team.” Film producers later met with her in her trailer and said she “couldn’t talk like that to him.”
Page notes she has “had the good fortune to work with many honorable and respectful collaborators both behind and in front of the camera,” but cautions much of the behavior witnessed in more recent accounts remains all too common. Like when an unnamed director fondled her leg and told her, “You have to make the move, I can’t” during an what was supposed to be a dinner meeting. Page was 16.
UPDATE: “I stand with you,” wrote Page’s X-Men co-star Anna Paquin, who was in her early 20s at the time. She responded to the original Facebook post with a tweet saying she “was there when that comment was made.”
You can read the entirety of the actress and activist’s Facebook post below.
(Via Ellen Page)