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Natalie Portman: ‘I’ve been complicit in maintaining inequality’

Natalie Portman: ‘I’ve been complicit in maintaining inequality’

Natalie Portman blames herself for previously being “complicit” in maintaining gender inequality in Hollywood.

The Black Swan actress is a high-profile member of the Time’s Up movement, and was one of the speakers at the first Women’s March in Los Angeles, held the day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2017, and at the 2018 event she revealed how she was sexualised as a 12-year-old after the debut of her first film, Leon: The Professional.

During an interview for Australia’s Vogue magazine, the 37-year-old Oscar winner said she realized how she had once played a part in maintaining the status quo.

“It was a real eye-opening of: ‘Wow, I’m part of this system. I’ve accepted this system. I’ve been complicit in this system’, not in the way of knowing someone’s getting abused and not talking about it, but complicit in the way of not actively revolting against it,” she said.

Natalie also discussed her involvement with the anti-sexual harassment and sexual abuse campaigners, and their next mission, to close the gender pay gap.

“It’s been really an incredible learning process,” she continued. “I think I was also surprised by how much I had accepted that was not okay, because of course it was a surprise to realise how many women had been affected by this, by many different perpetrators, and to many different extents, and how with all of it there is a spectrum of things that are not okay that we put up with on a regular basis.”

The Jackie star shared how she and her fellow Time’s Up members would debate whether certain behaviours were “really harassment” or just “like a bad date”, and she believes an acceptance of the latter feeds into the inequality in hiring practices and unequal pay.

“I mean, it’s all related, because it’s all about how we are valued, and I think we’ve internalised it, and become part of it,” she sighed. “We’ve become complicit in the system because we internalised that.”