Lupita Nyong’o Speaks Out Against Harvey Weinstein in ‘New York Times’ Op-Ed

Harvey Weinstein has been in the news a lot recently, following allegations of women coming forward to express the movie mogul’s past sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The allegations have all been mostly similar stories of actresses being invited to the private hotel room of Weinstein – and sometimes encouraged by his assistant – and then making intimate requests of the women.

As of now, as many as four dozen women have come forward to share their stories regarding Weinstein. Actresses like Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, Cara Delevigne are among the women that have come forward. On Thursday, the New York Times published an op-ed penned by Black Panther actress Lupita Nyong’o who is the latest actress to come forward and speak her truth on the details surrounding her past with Weinstein.

“I have been following the news and reading the accounts of women coming forward to talk about being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein and others,” Nyong’o began. “I had shelved my experience with Harvey far in the recesses of my mind, joining in the conspiracy of silence that has allowed this predator to prowl for so many years.”

Nyong’o continues to recount her experience with the producer by explaining that she met him in 2011 in Berlin where he was introduced to her as “the most powerful producer in Hollywood.” From there, she decided to try to keep him in her corner in hopes of establishing and maintaining a professional working relationship. Although when she first met him, she considered him to be “direct” but “charming” nonetheless, when she met him for lunch a second time and the two argued over her insisting she didn’t want to drink vodka with diet soda – she found him to be “pushy and idiosyncratic more than anything.”

After lunch, the two traveled back to his home, she met his staff, met his children, and her and the children were taken to the screening room to watch a film. Not long after, Weinstein requested that she come with him and that they’d be back shortly. She was led into his bedroom and after he let her know that he wanted to massage her, she began to feel unsafe. But that was just the beginning of their relationship.

She would go on to recall a time where his demands that she be intimate with him became even more bold. “If I wanted to be an actress,” she wrote in his voice, “then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing. He said he had dated Famous Actress X and Y and look where that had gotten them.”

After that, she promised herself to never work with him again – no matter what position she was in and would eventually turn down a role for Weinstein and his production company. She got her first role in a feature film shortly after on her own merit and talent – 12 Years a Slave.

“Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession,” Nyong’o wrote. “Precisely because of this we must stay vigilant and ensure that the professional intimacy is not abused.”

Read her op-ed in full here.

Photo Credit: PR Photos

Sheriden Chanel is a twenty-something writer, Beyoncé enthusiast, and lover of all things visual art. Keep up with her and her musings on social via @indiebyline.