Anna Faris is adding her name to a growing list of actresses coming forward about sexual harassment in the film industry.
The “Mom” star opened up about a negative experience she had with a male director earlier in her career that left her feeling “small” on an episode of the podcast “Anna Faris is Unqualified,” released Tuesday.
“I was doing a scene where I was on a ladder and I was supposed to be taking books off a shelf and he slapped my ass in front of the crew so hard,” Faris said. “And all I could do was giggle.”
“I remember looking around and I remember seeing the crew members being like, ‘Wait, what are you going to do about that? That seemed weird.’ And that’s how I dismissed it,” she continued. “I was like, ‘Well, this isn’t a thing. Like, it’s not that big of a deal. Buck up, Faris. Like, just giggle.’ But it made me feel small. He wouldn’t have done that to the lead male.”
Faris, who released her book Unqualified this week, is no stranger to candid conversation, but reveals she struggles to know how to respond when instances occur.
“We’re conditioned to giggle,” the actress said. “But also, if we were to do anything else, we’d be labeled a bitch or difficult. That would be the best of circumstances. I guess what I do is I laugh. It puts everyone at ease when I feel incredibly uncomfortable. That’s the defense mode you go into.”
The “House Bunny” actress went on to reveal that the same director told her agent that she was hired for the project because of her “great legs,” not because of her talents as an actress.
“Listen, that’s a fucking great compliment. I like my legs,” she explained. “But that sort of informed my whole experience with that whole project. I don’t think the male lead got hired because he had great legs. Therefore I felt like I’m hired because of these elements — not because of [talent].”
Faris is the latest actress in recent weeks to speak out about being harassed in the wake of reports detailing decades of alleged sexual misconduct at the hands of film producer Harvey Weinstein. Now, fingers are being pointed at other men in power like director James Toback, who’s been accused of sexual harassment by at least 38 different women.
“I think that there must be a ton of men in Hollywood and all over the world that are pretty scared right now because of their guilty behavior,” she added.
Listen to Faris’ podcast with guest star Arielle Kebbel below.