This article originally appeared on i-D.
Natalie Portman has offered her perspective on the industry-wide, long-overdue sexual abuse reckoning that is shaking up the entertainment industry. Speaking at Vulture Festival LA, the actor admitted that when allegations were first leveled at Harvey Weinstein, she thought "wow, I’m so lucky that I haven’t had this." But, Portman continued, "on reflection, I was like, OK, I've definitely never been assaulted, definitely not, but I’ve had discrimination or harassment on almost everything I’ve ever worked on in some way."
As more women came forward with their own stories — Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams told harrowing stories of alleged harassment from director James Toback, and eight actors, including Olivia Munn, accused director Brett Ratner of assault — Portman says she “went from thinking I don’t have a story to thinking, Oh wait, I have 100 stories."
"A lot of people are having these reckonings with themselves, of things that we just took for granted as like, this is part of the process," the actress continued, citing a private plane trip a producer once invited her on as a prime example. “I showed up and it was just the two of us, and one bed was made on the plane," Portman recalled, having thought more guests were flying. "Nothing happened, I was not assaulted. I said: ‘This doesn’t make me feel comfortable,’ and that was respected. But that was super not OK, you know? That was really unacceptable and manipulative and could have been — I was scared, you know?"
She told another story of a male director ignoring her in meetings, yet paying full attention to her male co-stars. Portman recounts the director telling her: "You’re exhausting.”
“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." In fact, Portman says, the issue was so obvious that "one male actor I was working with stood up for me in that meeting…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.’”
In January, the actor opened up about the wage gap, admitting she's been paid a third of her male costars' salaries. "Compared to men, in most professions, women make 80 cents to the dollar," she said. "In Hollywood, we are making 30 cents to the dollar." It's a statistic that's hard to fathom when articulated so clearly and ideally one that will improve along with the general treatment of women in the industry.