11:06am PT by Aaron Couch
'Guardians of the Galaxy' Director Shares Personal Plea to Stop Sexual Predators in Hollywood
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has shared a lengthy, personal message on sexual assault in Hollywood.
In a Facebook post Monday, Gunn recounted being on the way to a party with three close female friends Friday, one day after a New York Times investigation levied multiple claims of sexual harassment against producer Harvey Weinstein.
The topic of Weinstein came up, and Gunn's friends began recounting their own personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood. And after one round of stories, another began, and then another. Gunn was alarmed by how many stories his friends had to share.
"As we’ve discovered lately with the numerous sexual allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, and Bill O’Reilly, sexual predators have no political affiliation. They are Republicans, Democrats, Communists, Nazis, Green Party, Whigs, and whatever-the-hell-else is out there. But they also know no status or occupation," wrote Gunn.
Gunn went on to note the issue was not just prevalent in Hollywood.
"As evinced by the stories I heard Friday night, some men — probably a much larger percentage than any of us want to be true — try to coerce women (or children or other men) sexually, and they will try and do so when they get any small amount of power," wrote Gunn. "They are movie stars and network heads and world famous bloggers — but they are also fast food restaurant managers and used car salesmen and, as I learned as a child (and tried to speak out and was shut down), priests."
Gunn added: "And they are EVERYWHERE. And they are killing us. When someone is coerced sexually it not only affects that person, but the lives of those around that person, like rows of dominoes falling in every direction. It demolishes trust and comfort in all of society. And evil men are doing this everywhere, every day, in every occupation, and every type of household, all over the world."
In a 2017 BuzzFeed profile, Gunn spoke about the abuse children at his Catholic school in the St. Louis, Missouri area suffered at the hands of priests. He said he was not targeted, but that the experience was damaging, in part because the adults in his life did not listen when he spoke out.
People have been speaking out publicly against Weinstein, who was fired from The Weinstein Co. Sunday. Director Kevin Smith said he is "ashamed" that Weinstein financed his films, while Meryl Streep, who worked with Weinstein on a number of films, said, "The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar."
Read Gunn's full post: