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Actress Viola Davis photographed at her
Actress Viola Davis photographed at her

Viola Davis Wants #MeToo and Time's Up to Go Beyond Hollywood

#MeToo has made serious gains toward increasing awareness about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, but there’s something missing from the discussion, says Viola Davis in the interview for her Variety cover story. Expressing the need for the movement to take on a new direction, Davis explains her hope for #MeToo to encompass not only the persecution of abusers, but to also address steps toward healing.

She says making the conversation more inclusive of women outside of Hollywood is the next step.

“The 15-year-old girl from Lawndale, Chicago, who’s been sex trafficked and doesn’t even have the language or the knowledge to get herself out of that situation. … I’d like to see her being saved,” Davis said.

Davis has been involved in efforts to help victims of sexual assault for several years and acknowledges the power of fear that lies in the tangible reality of being outed as an abuser. But “it’s not just about putting a scarlet letter on someone,” she says. According to Davis, what’s missing from the discussion right now is the lack of “understanding, really, what is behind overstepping your boundaries with women.” In order to change that behavior, she calls for more discussions about the systemic problems that lead to abuse.

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