Gwyneth Paltrow was among the first Hollywood superstars to speak out about being sexually harassed by Harvey Weinstein. Now, in the wake of Weinstein’s downfall—and the rise of the #MeToo movement—she’s keeping that conversation going.
Moderating a panel at the first In Goop Health wellness summit in New York on Saturday, Paltrow said that when she was a young actress, “you had to duck and weave your way around inappropriate things. It never really occurred to me that this is illegal, or this isn’t the way things should be.” One of the first moments that opened her eyes to Hollywood’s sexism, she said, was when her father, producer Bruce Paltrow, learned that she was being paid the same salary as an actor with a lesser part. “He was outraged,” she said.
Billed as “a no-hold-barred talk about changing the female paradigm,” the discussion also included actresses Drew Barrymore and Laura Linney, comedian Chelsea Handler, editor Elaine Welteroth, and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn.
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Linney, who called the current sexual harassment reckoning “no surprise—but very surprising,” told the audience she was pleased that the national conversation didn’t fizzle out quickly, as she had initially assumed. But she acknowledged that the breadth and depth of the problem raise hard questions. “I have to sit in the discomfort of this moment and earn my way out it,” she said.
One of those questions—how to talk to men, and particularly young men about #MeToo—was voiced by an audience member, who asked Welteroth, former editor of Teen Vogue, what she should tell her teenage son about sexual harassment.
“We need [men and boys] in order for change to happen,” said Welteroth. “But I worry about boys being left behind.”
She encouraged parents, and particularly dads, to talk to their sons about how to be an ally to women and about the importance of consent. It’s important not to alienate young men, she said: “If we don’t extend our hands, we are actually raising a generation to be even angrier.”
Barrymore jumped in to urge the audience to include young men in their quest to create a more equal society, saying: “Boys can handle this.”