Thandie Newton Says She Was Sexually Exploited On The Casting Couch

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thandie-newtonThandie Newton joined in the fight against domestic violence towards women and was part of the crowd in London recently with the 1 Billion Rising Movement. The charming British actress explained on CNN that she understands violence against women because she’s had to deal with it in a professional setting. Opening up about her past as a young auditioning actress, Newton shared:

“There was one horrific audition–I went back for a second audition. It was a screen test. There were two other people in the room–the director, who I’d seen previously and a casting director–who was a woman. The director asked me to sit with my legs apart, the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt, put my leg over the arm of the chair, before I started my dialogue, think about the character that I was supposed to be having the dialogue with and how it felt to be made love to by this person. I was thinking, ‘This is so strange. Why do I need to do that?’ But this is the director, there’s the casting director, it must be normal. I’m 18 years old. I was protected, there were boundaries.”

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Newton mentions that three years later, at the Cannes Film Festival, she and her husband bumped into a drunk producer who mentioned the director she had the uncomfortable audition with. She found out that that same director would show her taped audition with her legs open to the camera “late at night to interested parties at his house.”

This is certainly a problem that hasn’t been protested loud enough because there’s a possibility young starlets count on casting directors and such to “discover them,” so they stay silent on situations like this one until they get to their big break.

Newton thinks it’s time stood up against domestic violence in all forms. “It’s about the people around. How much are they perpetrators of the crime? We all need to recognize our part in trying to be aware. It’s really bizarre when you think that violence against women isn’t a number one priority in the world.”

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What does a young woman do in this situation, Thandie asks. What would you do beauties? Let’s chat on Twitter!

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