Actress Rose McGowan addressed the crowd Friday in Detroit at the annual Women’s Convention, marking her first public speech since taking to Twitter earlier this month to accuse disgraced TWC mogul Harvey Weinstein of raping her, and blasted what she called Hollywood’s culture of fear and sexual misconduct.
“I have been silenced for 20 years. I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I’ve been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you,” told the crowd. “Because what happened to me behind the scenes happens to all of us in this society, and that cannot stand and it will not stand.”
“The paradigm must be subverted. It is time. We’ve been waiting a very long time for this to happen but we don’t have to wait anymore,” she said before encouraging sexual misconduct victims to speak out and name their attacker.
“I came to be a voice for all of us who have been told that we are nothing. For all us who have been looked down on. For all of us who have been grabbed by the motherfucking pussy,” she said. “No more. Name it, shame it and call it out. Join me. It’s time to clean house.”
McGowan canceled all of her previously scheduled public appearances amid the mushrooming sexual harassment and assault scandal engulfing much of Hollywood and the entrainment and media world.
The Charmed star was among the eight women named in a New York Times exposé which revealed that Harvey Weinstein had reached financial settlements due to sexual harassment claims that had been made over a period of decades.
In her speech Friday, McGowan didn’t mention Weinstein’s name but referred to him as “the head monster of all right now.”
“Hollywood may seem like it’s an isolated thing, but it is not,” McGowan said. “It is the messaging system for your mind. It is the mirror that you’re given to look into. This is what you are as a woman. This is what you are as a man. This is what you are as a boy. Girl. Gay. Straight. Transgender.”
She continued: “But it’s all told through 96 percent males in the Directors’ Guild of America. That statistic has not changed since 1946, so we are given one view. And I know the men behind that view. And they should not be in your mind and they should not be in mine. It’s time to clean house.”
“I want to thank you for being here, for giving me wings during this very difficult time. The triggering has been insane, the monster’s face everywhere – my nightmare,” she said. “But I know I’m not alone, because I’m the same as the girl in the tiny little town who was raped by the football squad and they have full dominance and control over the little town newspaper. There really is no actual difference.”
McGowan’s speech was preceded by remarks from U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. Anti-sexual harassment Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke also joined the actress Friday. McGowan was scheduled to join the Convention’s “Fighting for Survivors of Sexual Assault in the Age of Betsy Devos” panel.