Amber Tamblyn Pens Open Letter to James Woods After He Called Her a Liar: "I Call You a Silencer"

"Are you and your history with women and girls a part of the problem, Mr. Woods? Go now and look in the mirror and ask yourself if this is true. Go on, I'll wait. But I won't hold my breath," writes the actress to Woods in a letter published on Teen Vogue's website.
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On Tuesday, Amber Tamblyn posted a tweet meant just for James Woods: "Calling me a liar, James? This is far from over. That I can promise." 

Less than 24 hours later, the actress delivered on that pledge with the help of Teen Vogue, which published Tamblyn's open letter to the actor in which she refutes his claim that she lied when accusing him of hitting on her when she was 16 years old. 

Tamblyn mentioned the alleged incident in response to a Twitter dustup that started Sunday night when conservative gay author Chad Felix Greene replied to a Towleroad tweet about Luca Guadagnino's festival hit Call Me by Your Name — a gay romantic drama starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet in the story of a graduate student who falls in love with his professor's teenage son.

Greene slammed the film's controversial subject matter, posting, "24 year old man. 17 year old boy. Stop." Later that night, Woods, 70, noticed Greene's tweet and added, "As they quietly chip away the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA" The hashtag refers to the controversial North American Man/Boy Love Association, which is a pedophilia advocacy organization. 

Early the next morning, Hammer, 31, responded to Woods' tweet by condemning the actor for dating younger women, writing, "Didn't you date a 19 year old when you were 60.......?"

That's when Tamblyn, 34, entered the conversation by saying that she met Woods nearly two decades ago. "James Woods tried to pick me and my friend up at a restaurant once," the actress wrote. "He wanted to take us to Vegas. 'I'm 16' I said. 'Even better' he said."

Tamblyn's story prompted many other Twitter users to chime in, offering stories of their own. She also received support from her peers including Lena Dunham, Rose McGowan and Don Cheadle. Woods responded to Tamblyn in a roundabout way, answering a tweet from user Amanda Kendall who linked Call Me by Your Name and Tamblyn's accusation, which posed the question, "What makes a 24yo/17yo gay relationship inherently indecent but skeevy old guys trying to pick up a pair of 16 year old girls is okay?"

Woods response? "The first is illegal. The second is a lie." He then complimented Hammer as an actor and shrugged off the controversy by blaming trolls for much of the outcry on Twitter. "Somebody told me the libs are yelping," he said. "Troll traffic is up. I don't pay any attention really. I like Armie Hammer as an actor though. A lot. ... Okay, now I want all my little trolls to put on their onesies and go to bed! Final word on this: I don't give a shit what liberals think."

In her open letter, addressed to Woods, Tamblyn writes that the situation could be a "teachable moment" for him.  She then gives a detailed account of what happened on the night in question, writing that she was with a friend named Billy. Following a show at the Roxy, the two went for burgers at nearby Mels Drive-in diner on Sunset Boulevard. "Upon leaving the restaurant we were stopped by you and your friend, who both seemed very nice," writes the actress turned director who will release her directorial debut Paint in Black on VOD on Oct. 3 from Imagination Worldwide. "At one point you suggested we should all go to Las Vegas together. 'It's such a great place, have you ever been?' You tried to make it sound innocent. This is something predatory men like to do, I've noticed. Make it sound innocent. Just a dollop of insinuation. Just a hair of persuasion. Just a pinch of suggestion."

By claiming that Tamblyn was telling "a lie," she writes that Woods is part of "the nation's harmful narrative of disbelieving women first, above all else." 

"Asking them to first corroborate or first give proof or first make sure we're not misremembering or first consider the consequences of speaking out or first let men give their side or first just let your sanity come last," she writes. "So it is with hope, Mr. Woods, that I ask you to go inward now and ask yourself the hard stuff. The ominous unconscious stuff. The archetypal masculinity stuff. The power-play stuff. The perversion persuasion stuff. The secretive stuff. The id's most cherished stuff. ... Only you and your darkness know who you are. Only you and your actions know what you've done. That means you and only you have the power to change your behavior."

THR reached out to Woods for comment but has yet to hear back. As of early Wednesday afternoon, he had yet to respond on Twitter. 

Read Tamblyn's full open letter below.

Dear Mr. Woods,

What you are experiencing is called a teachable moment. It is called a gift. It is called a humbling. It is called Jesus, I come to thee. It is called an awakening. It is called a growth edge. It is called hope.

The hope being that through this experience, you can change. You can redefine the man who will come after this moment and this man who came before.

Since you've now called me a liar, I will now call you a silencer. I see your gaslight and now will raise you a scorched earth.

My friend Billy and I were at the Roxy on Sunset Boulevard seeing a band we loved. We decided to go to Mel's diner on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood to get burgers after. I had just gotten my driver's license and very specifically remember my nervousness trying to park in the diner parking lot. Upon leaving the restaurant we were stopped by you and your friend, who both seemed very nice. At one point you suggested we should all go to Las Vegas together. "It's such a great place, have you ever been?" You tried to make it sound innocent. This is something predatory men like to do, I've noticed. Make it sound innocent. Just a dollop of insinuation. Just a hair of persuasion. Just a pinch of suggestion. "It will be so much fun, I promise you. Nothing has to happen, we will just have a good time together." I told you my age, kindly and with no judgment or aggression. I told you my age because I thought you would be immediately horrified and take back your offer. You laughed and said, "Even better. We'll have so much fun, I promise."

Here's the thing, Mr. Woods. At that time I was not a public persona. I had done a couple years on a soap opera as an actress, but you wouldn't know me from Adam. I'm sure you've racked your brain trying to remember how you could've possibly hit on the actress Amber Tamblyn at a diner almost two decades ago. You think, it's not possible, there's no way I would've been so stupid as to hit on a 16-year-old known actress. But I wasn't known then, James. I was just a girl. And I'm going to wager that there have been many girls who were just girls or women who were just women who you've done this to because you can get away with it.

The saddest part of this story doesn't even concern me but concerns the universal woman's story. The nation's harmful narrative of disbelieving women first, above all else. Asking them to first corroborate or first give proof or first make sure we're not misremembering or first consider the consequences of speaking out or first let men give their side or first just let your sanity come last.

So it is with hope, Mr. Woods, that I ask you to go inward now and ask yourself the hard stuff. The ominous unconscious stuff. The archetypal masculinity stuff. The power-play stuff. The perversion persuasion stuff. The secretive stuff. The id's most cherished stuff.
Only you and your darkness know who you are.

Only you and your actions know what you've done. That means you and only you have the power to change your behavior.

Are you and your history with women and girls a part of the problem, Mr. Woods?

Go now and look in the mirror and ask yourself if this is true. Go on, I'll wait. But I won't hold my breath.

To read the full Teen Vogue post, click here

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