Jennifer Lawrence detailed the harassment and abuse she received as a young actress going through the Hollywood system at Elle‘s annual Women in Hollywood event Monday night, as she became the latest actress to speak about her own experiences in the business amid the sexual abuse scandal swirling around Hollywood and its once-powerful producer, Harvey Weinstein.
Lawrence, now 27, told attendees of an incident when she was starting out as a teenager and was asked by a producer to go on an expedited diet to lose 15 pounds for a role.
Lawrence said a female executive made her stand in a “nude lineup” with thinner girls, so she would be shamed into losing the weight.
“One girl before me had already been fired for not losing enough weight fast enough,” the actress said, according to Elle. “And, during this time, a female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet.”
“I asked to speak to a producer about the unrealistic diet regime,” Lawrence continued, “and he responded by telling me he didn’t know why everyone thought I was so fat, he thought I was perfectly ‘f**kable.’
Lawrence said she didn’t speak up at the time because she didn’t want to be a “whistleblower,” she just wanted to be an actress. She added that she didn’t have the power then to get anyone fired or hold anyone to account, because she wasn’t yet a movie star.
“I let myself be treated a certain way because I felt like I had to for my career,” she said. “I was young and walking that fine line of sticking up for myself without being called difficult, which they did call me, but I believe the word they used was ‘nightmare.'”
Lawrence also expressed support for Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy’s proposal to create a commission to research and generate solutions for sexual harassment in Hollywood.
“We will stop normalizing these horrific situations,” she said. “We will change this narrative and make a difference for all of those individuals pursuing their dreams.”
Lawrence shared her experience as over 30 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual harassment and abuse — including celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, and Rose McGowan — while at least five women have accused the movie mogul of rape. Lawrence worked with Weinstein on the 2012 hit film Silver Linings Playbook, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress.
Weinstein — whose films have collectively been nominated for more than 300 Oscars and have won 81 — was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and from the Producers Guild of America this week. In a statement Monday, PGA said it would create an Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force to research and generate effective solutions to end sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood.
Weinstein is currently in Arizona, where is reportedly seeking treatment for sex addiction at a rehab facility. He is expected to call in to a Weinstein Company board meeting Tuesday to challenge his firing from the company.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum