Mary J. Blige on Harassment in Hollywood: "People Don't Want to Be in Bondage Anymore"

I'm just happy that the people are being exposed," Blige told THR.

"I feel really sad for the women, but I'm happy that they're free, everyone that's coming out," Mary J. Blige told The Hollywood Reporter during the Actress Roundtable in regards to the recent illumination of the insidious sexual harassment and assault that is rampant in the entertainment industry. "I'm happy that they're free, because they had to hold on to a secret that they might have seen shrinks for years and years and years."

"I believe that things will change because this is making other women say, 'Me too, me too, me too.' That's why it just keeps happening every day. It will change things, because people don't want to be in bondage anymore."

Blige told the table she never experienced harassment in the industry because she was, "a tomboy, and one of the guys." Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game) asked Blige if she made a conscious effort to be that way in order to protect herself, to which Blige said, "I did."

"I've been through so much as child and a teenager. I wore baggier jeans, Timberlands, and hat turned backwards so I wouldn't be so revealing," Blige said. "It took me a very long time to even wear makeup and tight clothes, because I've been through so much, and what I've been through has been a secret. Those secrets I still have to deal with. So, I'm happy that these women are hopefully free, because it hurts. I'm just happy that the people are being exposed."

Blige, a nine-time Grammy Award winner, stars in one of the year's most-buzzed-about films, Mudbound, written and directed by Dee Rees. "I think I was being prepared for this role ever since I was a little girl," Blige told THR. Born in the Bronx to southern parents, Blige was sent to Savannah, Georgia every summer to see her grandmother and aunts.

"Every woman in the south, they had this silent power. They didn't say much, but you knew that they were powerful because of the way their men treated them and because of how everybody treated them. That part of my life prepared me to be Florence (Blige's Mudbound character). Florence was a silent, powerful woman, and when she spoke, her husband listened, because she didn't say much."

"I saw Mudbound at Sundance and when I saw the character, when I saw Florence, I just started crying, because it wasn't me. It was a character. That was a moment for me," said Blige of her experience of watching herself onscreen, confessing that she thought, "Wow. OK. I've done something."

"That was cool," the actress continued, "because I see Mary J. Blige in everything I do. I'm so glad we got rid of her."

For the full Actress Roundtable, click here.

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