Angelina Jolie gave a moving and powerful speech at the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver yesterday, and made sexual violence in Hollywood one of the key subjects.
“Sexual violence is everywhere – in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world,” she said.
“All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need.
“But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive.”
She continued by saying that sexual violence is “a critical obstacle to achieving women’s equality and our full human rights,” adding that it is often used as a weapon of war.
“It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective.”
If you cast your minds back to October, you’ll remember that Angelina Jolie was one of the first actresses to break her silence about Harvey Weinstein’s sexually abusive past. She told The New York Times that the director made unwanted sexual advances towards her in a hotel room while she was starring in the 1998 film Playing By Heart.
“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” she said at the time.
“This behaviour towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
Angelina Jolie wrapped up her speech by urging United Nations peacekeepers to crack down on sexual violence in Hollywood.
She also referenced the female Rohingya refugees seeking asylum in Bangladesh, adding that almost every female there “is either a survivor of sexual violence or a witness to multiple incidences of sexual assault, rape or gang‑rape.”