Jessica Chastain was one of the louder voices speaking out about Harvey Weinstein during the days that followed the first reports about his alleged history of sexual assault. It was the moment when many started to feel that we were about to see a turning point in the way women and men speak out about harassment and misconduct, with Hollywood being ground zero apparently.
Being one of those early voices, Chastain and others were risking a backlash similar to the ones that kept many from speaking out for years. While she wasn’t making any allegations, her support to those who were was important. It also earned her some pushback from her fellow actors apparently, with Chastain discussing an email she received from an unnamed actor shortly after she spoke out. She claims the email said that she was using her position to “irresponsibly” discuss sexual assault and the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, adding that she was told to “simmer down.” She did not and explained to Jimmy Fallon why she thought it was important to ignore comments like that:
“I feel it’s our responsibility to do whatever we can to amplify the voices of the people who’ve come forward because, you know, just tweeting or talking about it is nothing compared to the bravery of a woman or a man who’s risked their career, their livelihood, everything to come forward…
“And the only reason they do that is to protect other people from abuse. So, for me, silence is complicity and I want to do whatever I can to heal our industry — but not only our industry. It’s in many, many industries, so to help heal our society.”