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Tony Goldwyn on Sexual Harassment: ‘We Have to Keep Talking About It’

Tony Goldwyn says he has been “surprised” by the response he’s gotten since coming forward with his own story of sexual harassment.

The “Scandal” star had shared his experience while on a recent red carpet, in light of Lupita Nyong’o’s story in the New York Times. “I thought [Lupita’s story] was so powerful and was saying that we all need to step up and not let this conversation die,” he tells Variety. “It can’t just be the headline of the moment because it’s salacious. We have to really keep talking about it.”

On the carpet, Goldwyn told Access Hollywood that he was also a victim of sexual harassment. “It happened to me by a man, and it wasn’t as extended and awful as what Lupita went through, but it was the same thing,” he said. “It was the casting couch and I didn’t understand what was going on, what was happening — I thought it was my fault. I thought I was misunderstanding the situation … It took me a couple of years to get over it.”

Since coming forward, Goldwyn says he’s gotten an overwhelming amount of emails, calling him “brave.” “But I don’t feel brave at all,” he says. “I’m not brave now to talk about something that happened to me 30 years ago. I’m fine. I’m good. I would have been brave if I’d done it then.”

The actor says he would have paid a “huge price” if he’d come forward when it happened. “I would have been ruined if I had spoken out against the person who harassed me,” he says. “I extricated myself from the situation so it didn’t get too ugly. I didn’t have to go through half of what Lupita went through. But it was a similar thing in the end. If I had made a stink about it, no one would have believed me. I would have been blackballed. I never would have gotten my career off the ground. And lo and behold, I found out over the next few years, that pretty much most young actors I knew had had the same experience with the same person. But it wasn’t an option to say something about it. I just moved on.”

Now he says men especially need to call out the abuse of power, wherever and whenever they see it. “It’s really up to us whether this is replaced by the next sensational headline or the next person who topples from power or if we get distracted by it,” he says. “I think we have a tremendous opportunity because it’s not just Harvey [Weinstein], Roy Price, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes. Somehow our president has gotten away clean. But there’s nothing new about this.”

 

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