Ellen Page joins the ever-expanding list of women accusing men in Hollywood of sexual misconduct in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. In a moving essay shared on her Facebook page on November 10, the Canadian actor wrote about her deeply unsettling but infuriatingly all-too-common experiences with director Brett Ratner as a young actress. Ratner already stands accused by at least six women of sexual harassment or assault, including actress Natasha Henstridge, who says Ratner forced her to give him oral sex when she was 19. Page writes that she was on the set of the film X-Men: The Last Stand when director Ratner outed her as gay. “I was eighteen years old,” she writes. “He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: ‘You should f–k her to make her realize she’s gay.’ He was the film’s director, Brett Ratner.”
— Anna Paquin (@AnnaPaquin) November 10, 2017
Page continues: “I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic. I proceeded to watch him on set say degrading things to women. I remember a woman walking by the monitor as he made a comment about her ‘flappy pussy.’”
Page came out publicly as gay in 2014 in a exceptionally powerful speech delivered at Time to Thrive, a conference to promote the welfare of LGBTQ+ youth. “I’m here today because I am gay and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time,” Page told the audience. “Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.
“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission,” Page said proudly. “I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain.”
Since coming out, Page has been a vocal and proud advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, using her celebrity to give LGBTQ+ stories more representation through her Viceland series Gaycation and rallying for the rights of trans children.
In her Facebook post, Page writes not only about Ratner’s alleged behaviour, but about several other experiences being sexually harassed or assaulted as a young actress. She calls this sexual harassment at the hands of adult men “ubiquitous” in the film industry. “When I was sixteen a director took me to dinner (a professional obligation and a very common one). He fondled my leg under the table and said, ‘You have to make the move, I can’t.’ I did not make the move and I was fortunate to get away from that situation,” she writes. “It was a painful realization: my safety was not guaranteed at work. An adult authority figure for whom I worked intended to exploit me, physically.”
Ellen concludes her essay by thanking survivors for sharing their stories, and it’s a fitting ending here as well: “I am grateful to anyone and everyone who speaks out against abuse and trauma they have suffered. You are breaking the silence. You are revolution.”