UPDATE: This morning, director Lars von Trier told Danish newspaper Jylannds Posten (via IndieWire), through his business partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen, that he is surprised by Björk’s claims, saying, “As far as I remember, we were victims. That woman was stronger than both Lars von Trier and me and our company together.” He also admitted that the relationship between the two had a lot of conflict, but said that Björk’s work on the movie is “one of the greatest performances in my movies.” Original story below.
In light of the many sexual harassment allegations that film producer Harvey Weinstein is facing, women (and men) all over the entertainment are speaking up and sharing the stories of their experiences, either with Weinstein or another power-abusing figure. After seeing all these stories, Björk decided yesterday to write a Facebook post about her experience with a Danish director.
Björk did not name the director in her post, although considering she only ever starred in the 2000 movie Dancer In The Dark, it’s very likely that director Lars Von Trier is the subject of the post.
Björk said that when she started in the movie business, she realized quickly that her “humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director,” that “it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it.” She said that when she rejected the director’s advances, she was portrayed as “difficult.”
She added that since she didn’t have much to lose by leaving the world of film, she was able to walk away from the experience relatively unscathed, although she did say it took her “a year’s time” to recover. She shared her story in support of actresses who have found themselves in similar situations, and said that as for the director in question, she believes “he had a more fair and meaningful relationship with his actresses after my confrontation, so there is hope.”
Read Bjork’s full post below.
“i am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a danish director . because i come from a country that is one of the worlds place closest to equality between the sexes and at the time i came from position of strength in the music world with hard earned independence , it was extremely clear to me when i walked into the actresses profession that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director and a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it . i became aware of that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it . when i turned the director down repeatedly he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where i was framed as the difficult one . because of my strength , my great team and because i had nothing to loose having no ambitions in the acting world , i walked away from it and recovered in a years time . i am worried though that other actresses working with the same man did not . the director was fully aware of this game and i am sure of that the film he made after was based on his experiences with me . because i was the first one that stood up to him and didn’t let him get away with it
and in my opinion he had a more fair and meaningful relationship with his actresses after my confrontation so there is hope
let’s hope this statement supports the actresses and actors all over
let’s stop this
there is a wave of change in the world