Over the weekend, an old video surfaced of Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci admitting that the infamous rape scene in Last Tango In Paris was planned without the consent of actress Maria Schneider. It's left celebrities, like many other people, appalled and enraged — with several taking to Twitter to voice their disgust. Chris Evans tweeted, "Wow. I will never look at this film, Bertolucci or Brando the same way again. This is beyond disgusting. I feel rage." Anna Kendrick responded to Evans, pointing out that actress Maria Schneider had said the scene was done without her consent, but her allegations were largely ignored. Kendrick said in a tweet, "Ms Schneider stated this several years ago. I used to get eye-rolls when I brought it up to people (aka dudes)." Evans replied that he "had no idea. Woulda felt rage then too." He added that Bertolucci and Brando, "should be in jail." Kendrick responded again, saying that she was not surprised that most people didn't know about Bertolucci and Brando's behavior, since "it wasn't treated like a big story then (shocker)." She added, "Glad at least it will be taken seriously now."
Kendrick is right: This wasn't the first time these allegations against Bertolucci and Brando have come to light. It's awful that she had to point it out, since Schneider herself had previously — and repeatedly — said it wasn't consensual. In a 2006 interview, Schneider said she "cried real tears" during the rape scene in Last Tango In Paris. She also claimed that it was not in the script, but rather the idea of Marlon Brando. Schneider said,"When they told me, I had a burst of anger. Woo! I threw everything. And nobody can force someone to do something not in the script. But I didn't know that. I was too young." She added in that interview that "[Bertolucci] was manipulating everyone on set." Schneider passed away in 2011. Brando died in 2004, but Bertolucci is still alive and made a movie as recently as 2012. Sadly, it's unsurprising that any allegations made by Schneider were ignored, given the fact that perpetrators of sexual assault or violence are rarely punished for their crimes. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 994 out of every 1,000 rapes results in perpetrators walking free — without any punishment — according to statistics by RAINN, based on data from the Department of Justice. And despite the fact that Schneider tried to come forward about what happened to her years later, the truth is that people largely ignored her claims. It wasn't until Bertolucci admitted it — on camera — that people started paying attention.
"To all the people that love this film — you're watching a 19yr old get raped by a 48yr old man," tweeted Jessica Chastain. "The director planned her attack. I feel sick."
She was retweeted by actress Evan Rachel Wood, who recently revealed that she is a sexual assault survivor. Wood added, "I second that. This is heartbreaking and outrageous. The 2 of them are very sick individuals to think that was ok."
Director Ava Duvernay called Bertolucci and Brando's behavior "inexcusable." She added, "As a director, I can barely fathom this. As a woman, I am horrified, disgusted and enraged by it."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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