Sarah Jessica Parker is ready to publicly join the #MeToo movement. The actress, who starred on HBO's Sex And The City for all six seasons until 2004, opened up about her experiences involving sexual harassment on set for the first time on the US channel NPR. Host Terry Gross talked to SJP in the latest Fresh Air interview. Parker says it wasn't until "about six or eight months ago" that the public #MeToo discussion allowed her to recognise the "countless" instances of inappropriate behavior she experienced from men on set.
"To be honest, I don't know why I either wasn't courageous or more destroyed by some of the things that I was privy to, that I was on the receiving end of," she said, explaining that she never felt as powerful as the men whose behavior she was experiencing. "I mean, I had every right to say, 'This is inappropriate.' I could have felt safe in going to a superior."
Instead, she recalled doing things like having male friends stay with her and answer her phone to ward off unwanted calls. However, she says there was an instance that she went to her agent with a complaint and was able to shut down a situation.
"Within hours everything had changed," she said. "[My agent] said to them, 'If this continues, I have sent her a ticket, a one-way ticket out of this city' — where I was shooting — 'and she will not be returning.'"
After that, she said, "I didn't have to listen to jokes about me or my figure or what people thought they could talk me into doing. All these men. All these men. That stopped."
The man in question, who Parker says was "the instigator," happened to be "a very big movie star," and unfortunately she laments that while she was able to push back, it was too late to effectively change his behavior.
"He was a formed person and that wasn’t going to change," she said. "But I felt certainly better and safer, like I could finish what I had agreed to do."
Refinery29 has reached out to Parker for comment. Listen to the full interview below.