Zendaya Feels Empowered By Her "Sisterhood" In Hollywood In Light Of Constant Sexual Assault Allegations

Photo: Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images.
Zendaya has quickly become one of pop culture's favorite voices — in addition to being a beauty queen and a newly-minted movie star. But like everyone else in the entertainment industry, she's also reckoning with the post-Harvey Weinstein world that we all now inhabit.
As InStyle's January cover star, she chatted with the magazine about the torrent of news about sexual harassment and assault. And she acknowledged the most important people in these stories: the victims. "The bravery of the women who came forward is a huge step toward making sure it’s safer for me and other young women who are just coming up," said Zendaya.
Advertisement
She makes another important point: her age leaves her vulnerable. "I’m at that prime age right now. Twenty-one. Starting off," she says. "That’s when people take advantage and abuse their power and do terrible shit. I think it’s definitely a sisterhood."
It's unfortunate that Zendaya even needs to be aware that being younger makes her more of a target for inappropriate behavior. In a perfect world, she could go to work every day and be mentored by elders in the industry without worrying about her safety. But if there's one positive thing that has come out of this "reckoning," as Brooke Gladstone of On the Media called this painful news cycle, it's relief in knowing that alleged offenders are being removed from workplaces where they are targeting women. The more the house gets clean, the safer it will be for young stars like Zendaya to work in peace.
Zendaya also knows that speaking up about these issues and in support of the victims is tremendously important. She's proud of her voice, and feels a responsibility to use it. "I realize that [being a role model] is actually a huge part of the job," she acknowledges. "I’ve said it a million times, but I’d rather be known for the active change I’ve made than for what my name stands for."
Advertisement