Amber Tamblyn Follows Up James Woods Denial: ‘Women Do Not Get to Have a Side’

Amber Tamblyn
Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock

Amber Tamblyn has followed up her recent Teen Vogue open letter to James Woods with an impassioned editorial that says women have had enough of not being believed.

In the New York Times op-ed piece, Tamblyn writes that “Too often, they are questioned mercilessly about whether their side is legitimate.”

She starts the editorial with an emotional anecdote of a TV producer who listens to her difficult-to-recount story of being harassed by a crew member, with the producer concluding, “Well, there are two sides to every story.”

“Mr. Woods’s accusations that I was lying sent me back to that day in that producer’s office,” she wrote.

The 34-year old actress was angered by 70-year old actor James Woods, who had commented on Twittere on the age difference between the actors in “Call Me By Your Name,” starring Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet. She suggested that Woods had no right to talk since he had tried to invite her to Las Vegas when she was just 16 years old. Woods denies that this happened.

“I have been afraid of speaking out or asking things of men in positions of power for years,” Tamblyn writes. “The women I know are done, though, playing the credentials game,” she concludes. “We are learning that the more we open our mouths, the more we become a choir.”

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  1. Jessica Hawke says:

    While men can certainly lie, so can women. It takes two to tango. So excuse me if I am skeptical of this Hollywood starlet who makes millions convincing us she is someone else for a fictional move or TV show.

    • Dave J says:

      Excuse me, she was talking about Woods as an old man attempting to have a forbidden relationship with an underage girl. Perhaps to you 16 year old’s are adults but not according to the eyes of the law.

  2. Brandon Johns says:

    Says the woman who married David Cross. Don’t believe anything she says.

  3. MA says:

    If women want to be heard why do they deny the things Tomi Lerhen and Sara Palin say? But instead those women are attacked for speaking truthfully.

    • Dave J says:

      And in your mind Palin as a woman always speaks truthfully…yes? Then you will always be a tool.

    • tjchurch2001 says:

      In order for Palin to be attacked for speaking truthfully, she would first have to speak truthfully. I am not saying all women are liars (just as not all men are predators), but odds are just as good that Amber made her claim up.

  4. tjchurch2001 says:

    She may or may not be right about women getting to have a side. However, I went to a public school & watch a lot of nationwide TV, so I know all to well (from viewing in both places, as well as my own experiences) that women needn’t “speak up” to “have a side”. Half the time you read/hear about physical (sexual or not) abuse in a relationship, it is assumed the man was the attacker (as it was in those public school’s Health classes, where I was inches from the faces of 2 women screaming at me about things one had already promised they would not assume/discuss).

    Want to help women get chances to speak out &/or be believed, Amber? Speak not to the Times or other widely-read publications (that also get their pieces re-printed on Websites such as this one), but to your fellow Hollywood females, & your countless female fans. Tell them to keep their mouths shut, phones off, & pencils down unless & until someone (of any gender) actually says or does something to them.

  5. M says:

    I’m a woman. I’ma woman that has had to prove myself in court. The cross exams were brutal. Them bringing up things from my past was like getting violated all over again. But I still find it necessary. I wouldn’t want to live in a world were someone would get locked up or punished based on someone’s word alone.

  6. John says:

    But…but…maybe there are REALLY two sides to a story ?

    And maybe James Woods tells the truth ?

    Only because Amber is female, it doesn’t mean she never lied in her life, you know ?

    And where is the “choir” you mentioned, Amer ?

    Not every man is a serial rapist, you know?

  7. SometimeInTheMorning says:

    After Trump’s “pssy” comment, she came forward and revealed that she had been sexually assaulted.

    Now, she has accused James Woods of improper advances towards her when she was a minor.

    I believe her on both accounts.

    But her words are meaningless. Absosolutely meaningless. She talks a good talk and she actually would have a lot to contribute in helping women EXCEPT for the fact that she is a HUGE fan/friend and supporter of Bill Clinton. We all know his history. We all know about the accusations against him over the decades. All far worse than anything Trump/Woods has been accused of…not that its a competition, but still far worse. She strikes out against Trump and Woods but gives Clinton a free pass for everything.

    Sorry, Amber. Doesn’t work that way. You look like a fool bashing others and then turning around and gushing over/praising Bill Clinton. And in doing so, you’re saying his behavior IS OK and acceptable.

    Its a darn shame that Variety and ever other news outlet carrying this story doesn’t have the balls to call her out on her devotion and her approval of Bill Clinton’s actions and behavior.

  8. Steef_Pip says:

    Ugh. Please stop before Emily is tarnished.

  9. Barbara says:

    I just received a memo from att that all of my data has been used for the month. I do not watch any video,
    This is stealing my data from variety running auto play videos in their ads when a variety article is opened and read.
    3 auto play videos start running in the ad spaces.
    Please variety STOP running auto play videos you are STEALING data from readers illegally without their consent.
    DO NOT RUN AUTO PLAY VIDEOS in any ad spaces on article pages.

  10. This was a very good essay until she got to the remark about Tom Hardy. First of all, to “anthropomorphize” means to give human characteristics to something that is not human. She wanted to do the opposite: take away Tom Hardy’s humanity and turn him into a horse that she and her friends could “ride.” I don’t know how she doesn’t see what she just did there.

    That is sexual objectification, textbook. A horse? That she can control completely, and share with her friends? Hello? This undercuts her entire thesis, that women should be believed because we have some sort of moral authority when it comes to sexual harassment. What she revealed is that she does not dream of a world where no one is objectified. She dreams of a world where women, via Hillary Clinton, are in control, and it’s men who are the victims.

    This is not an improvement. Now, I doubt Tom Hardy will rise up in outrage, nor thank me for doing it on his behalf, but my point is: LOOK AT THAT REMARK. Look what it reveals. Let us not pretend that women are better creatures in this particular domain. Clearly, we don’t want to end sexual harassment. We just want to be the ones on top. Apparently.

  11. Barbara says:

    The statement amber made about all women requiring a degree in risk assessment is very true.
    Why should women be burdened with the idea that all men are potential evil predators and women constantly have to be on guard.
    Very much like the situation of illegal immigrants, we are burdened with a constant vigilance of not knowing whether our neighbors are legal citizens.
    This must also stop.

  12. Humphrey says:

    I don’t know who is saying that Woods needs to be arrested. It is certainly not me. But this came up because despite being the Perv that he is, he had the audacity to try to lecture someone on decency standards. So although he shouldn’t be arrested, he certainly needs to go somewhere, sit down and shut the blankety, blank up. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t thrown stones.

  13. Christian_Ada says:

    I’m not sure why I keep typing “do” when I’m trying to type “so” in my posts

  14. Christian_Ada says:

    So wait, reading comments here are people actually thinking James Woods committed a crime and want him arrested? Because from where I am standing No crime was committed.

    And while I agree James Woods has “perv written all over him” Amber Tamblyn has “Mentally unstable” etched in her eyes. It’s as plain as day when you look into her eyes. No wonder she played the part do well on General Hospital and on Buffy

  15. Wendeeloo says:

    Wow. Most of these commenters have come to their own conclusions abt why women don’t speak out when sexual assault – or impropriety- happens AT AGE 16…..#Clueless.

  16. Humphrey says:

    Lol. Wow. Are there really people in the world that have trouble believing that James Woods tries to get with underage girls? This guy has perv written all over him. He is an absolute train wreck that was openly dating a 20 year old girl WHEN HE WAS 66!!!!!! Is it really hard to believe that he would have a problem with a girl being a few years younger than that? I didn’t need Tamblyn’s story to know that he was a perv, or for that matter the several others of other women who have now come forward to state that they also have experiences of James Woods trying to date them when they were underage. I mean if you had asked me a month ago, hey do you think James Woods (the absolute train wreck that he is) would try to date a 16 year old? I would have answered HELL YEAH, he would. So, now that Tamblyn and OTHERS have come forward and confirmed it I’m not surprised. But to see all of these people on here that doubt her story, I’m thinking you guys must be looking a different James Woods than I’ve been looking at over the last few years.

  17. Rob Houck says:

    Judging from these comments, no wonder she waited 20 years. They make the anti-Hillary/Obama posts look tame. But no mention of Hitler?

  18. Tom Jones says:

    If a woman is sexually harassed or assaulted, then she should go to the proper authorities to have the matter investigated. If a crime has occurred, I would want to see justice be done. I understand that was easier said than done 20+ years ago. However, her story does strike me as odd. And no, it isn’t because she is a woman.

    By the time that this alleged incident occurred, James Woods didn’t have much clout in Hollywood, compared with someone like Samuel L. Jackson. He was in crappy film and tv show, one after the other. Her father (actor Russ Tamblyn from West Side Story and Twin Peaks) also managed her career in that timeframe. Are we to believe that her manager/father would have done nothing about his client/daughter being sexually harassed? Or, are we to believe that she said nothing to her father? If she is openly talking about this now, that likely means that she never filed a lawsuit against him. Secondly, the fact that she said nothing about this until now is interesting. Normally, I’d agree with the reasons a victim of sexual abuse gives for waiting a long time before telling someone. Much of it has to do with feeling powerless, not having a voice, and/or not being believed.

    However, the height of her popularity in her career (so far) was in the early to mid 2000’s, and she was even nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe. So, she had a platform, the notoriety, as well as influential friends of hers and her family in Hollywood. Not to mention, she supposedly had a friend as a witness. This could have been said within a few years, instead of waiting almost 20 years to say something. If she was worried about never being able to work in Hollywood again, that doesn’t jive either. Let’s face it, from 2007 onward, most of her work has been either in tv guest spots, cancelled tv shows, or small, independent films.

    The problem is, it never looks good when someone accuses someone of a crime almost 20 years later. It is human nature to be skeptical of statements (regardless of gender or type of offense), that are made without any evidence or proof. At that point, it is nothing more than a baseless accusation. However, society is rapidly moving towards being conditioned and automatically believing someone the minute they yell “rape” or “harassment”. The accused is automatically guilty in the eyes of the media and the public. All it takes is an accusation to ruin that person’s career, life, and reputation…and that’s if they either aren’t convicted or don’t go to trial (e.g. Duke LaCrosse team scandal, Lena Dunham). If you want to ruin someone’s life because they slighted you, accuse them of sexual abuse. Like a convicted murder who is innocent of that crime and later exonerated, it doesn’t matter if your innocence is proven. People will remember the accusation and many will associate you=lowlife. My conclusion is that Ms. Tamblyn hated James Woods and/or his message, so she made an accusation against him to not only invalidate his arguments, but to cast a shadow on any political or moral stance he may take in the future.

    Lastly, in the New York Times linked article, I found another comment of hers to be hypocritical. She doesn’t like being thought of or treated like an object, but she has no qualms about fantasing about turning Tom Hardy and his being into a horse they can ride on. At the very least, she fantasizes about using him and his essence as an object. It also seems a bit sexually suggestive.

    • Dave J says:

      You’ve got some serious issues!

    • Jk says:

      you are really disgusting, did you know that she never accused him of rape? , she only called out his hypocrisy criticizing a 17-22 relationship when he has been in 20-66 relationships and even tried to pick her up when she was 16, waaaay before she was important in the acting industry or nominated for an award, at that time woods was indeed a bigger deal.

      So if you’re gonna spilled lies, uninformed statements, please do it better

      you are exactly the reason why she needed to write that open ed, shame on you and I feel so bad for the women around you

    • AT says:

      Your think piece on women falsifying incidents is comical at best. It is no wonder an average of 65% of sexual assault goes unreported, know-nothings like you who feel like big men behind their screens defending other men’s right to harass and assault.

      The arrogance of men like you is astonishing, who think since they respect women that all men do and must be defended. It’d be wise to dismount your high horse and understand that there are slimy people in this world who have no problem committing deplorable acts to women. It’s hilarious that you described a motive for her admission to be that it would benefit her career. You know how you can easily tell that’s not true? Your entire comment is the answer. The shame and embarrassment losers try to cast upon women who speak up is the price they pay for doing what’s right. Speaking on this issue is NEVER a positive experience, because in their truth women are treated like liars who are trying to “get ahead” by ruining men’s reputations. Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? I’m going to guess confidently that you don’t, because you wrote at length about it. The fragility of your masculinity is rife when you refuse to acknowledge a woman’s validity over a mans by definition.

  19. Jane says:

    I’m the pretty girlie-girl type. Well into my 30s, I’d get harassed by men at work. Even worse than sexual harassment, was the not being taken seriously for my credentials.

    I can speak from experience that being a certain type of woman (petite, feminine) and not using it to get ahead (aka sleeping with men who can “help” one’s career) does hurt your career prospects.

    Trust me, Amber, I dig. What I don’t dig is that Ms. Tablyn herself is married to a much older, more successful man who has helped and continues to help her career along. Everything about her complaint sounds disingenuous.

    It’s like when older women actresses complain about Hollywood’s youthful beauty standards and impossible figure requirements. Sure, that was fine while they were young, beautiful and skinny, but now that they’re older, fatter and less attractive, the industry must change!

    It’s all total hypocrisy. This op-ed by Ms. Tablyn is just another nail in the coffin to the credibility of the New York Times.

    • Jk says:

      Jane, maybe you should inform yourself better. Her husband is older than her, more successful?, I don’t know, I think it’s the opposite, do you have proofs to back up that claim?, because I see her accomplishments in imdb and hers are vastly superior. And her husband being older is exactly why she don’t see I problem with the relationship in the film that Woods criticized, even when the hypocrite has been in a 46 year gap relationship.

      I feel shame for your lack of emphaty, hopefully that NYT that you are criticizing will help a lot of women and maybe your daughters to not live what you said you have suffered

      • Jane says:

        I think the argument should come from a woman who hasn’t profited with using her face and body to get ahead. It’s is hard to take a washed-out hypocrite like Ms. Tamblyn seriously. She’s not helping anyone but herself. This NYT article is a joke.

  20. THE TRUTH HURTS says:

    James Woods is mesmerizing when he plays villains but now i reckon he is twisted in real life

  21. James Woods (allegedly) asked her out when she was a minor, she refused. No harm done. What the hell else does she want?

    • Jk says:

      He called out his hypocrisy, he said she lied, she has a witness that confirm this and then a bunch of women with similar histories have come out, but a bunch of dudes like you don’t see a problem with it, well let me enlightened you, it’s a problem and we as men need to stand against the misogyny, so I applaud her efforts

  22. I am so sick of ’empowered’ women. They act like they are so oppressed and the world is against them as the live the easiest lifestyle of all.

  23. Jillian says:

    Who is she.

  24. Rp says:

    Sure wish we had these sensibilities around bill clintons time. But the times are finally changing.

  25. Waynw says:

    Twitter doesn’t have an e on the end.

  26. Phillip Ayling says:

    If she is ever taken to court and the accusing party gets to speak first, I’m pretty sure she will hope that her side of the story can be told too.

  27. Jane says:

    I am thinking about Jackie at UVA whose lies are responsible for Rolling Stone getting sued

  28. Dave J says:

    It’s ppl like you which is why the movie industry can be so sleazy. Once a tool always a tool. You would trade your mom away for a chance for meeting Trump.

  29. Humphrey says:

    I’m not sure who’s saying that Woods should be arrested. I’m certainly not. But this didn’t come up because anyone wanted him arrested. This came up because despite being the Perv that he is, he has the audacity to try to lecture someone else on decency. So, while I don’t think he needs to be arrested, I am saying that this Perv needs to go sit down and shut up. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  30. Jk says:

    you are really a disgusting pig, and also a liar, she never acussed him of rape, she called out his hypocrisy criticizing a film with two lovers of 17 and 22 or so, when he has dated someone more than 40 years younger and tried to take to Vegas Amber and her friend who confirms this.

    she’s not making more difficult to any victim to come fwd, au contraire, she’s showing them that it should be done and that it won’t be easy because of pricks like you

    being liberal or conservative doesn’t have anything to do with this, but you precisely are the bad example of a hypocrite conservative that group should expelled you

    p.s. and stop with your lies, neither clinton nor singer did that. and you can’t blame a wife because of the wrongdoings of her male partner

  31. Jk says:

    looks someone is trying really hard to be a misogynistic troll and un emphatic one

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