Update (October 16, 2017, 2:15 p.m.): Lars von Trier has denied Björk's allegations through a statement given by his business partner Peter Aalbæk Jensen to Danish newspaper Jylannds Posten, per The Wrap. "As far as I can remember [von Trier] and I were both victims. The woman was stronger than both Lars von Trier and me and our company together," Jensen reportedly told the Posten. The Wrap added that von Trier and Björk's conflict became widely publicized during the film Dancer in the Dark's award-winning time at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000.
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Inspired by other women coming forward with their stories of sexual harassment, musician Björk shared a story of her own experience with a Danish director on Facebook.
"I am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a Danish director," she began. She goes on to relay a story where the unnamed director created the illusion on set that she was the difficult one after she repeatedly turned down his advances. According to the singer, he would sulk and punish her for it. "It was extremely clear to me when I walked into the actresses profession that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm.." she tragically shares. It wasn't just the director. Björk wrote that dozens of the staff on set enabled and encouraged it. "I became aware of that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it," she wrote. "The director was fully aware of this game," Björk continued. She shared that she was convinced the next movie he made after working with her was based on their experience.
In her case, she felt that she could confront the director about his behavior which she believes helped the situation. "He had a more fair and meaningful relationship with his actresses after my confrontation so there is hope," she shared.
In her years as a musician, Björk has only acted in a few films. First in 2000, when she starred in Danish director Lars Von Trier's film Dancer in the Dark, reports Pitchfork. Claims that Björk and Von Trier had a very strained relationship on set surfaced around the time of the film's release. She also acted in films by Robert Altman, Kristín Jóhannesdóttir, and Nietzchka Keene.
Björk has made several public statements regarding her experience challenging the often one-dimensional existence women have in the music industry. Late last year in an open letter, she called out the criticism female musicians face if they write about anything other than their love life. "Women in music are allowed to be singer-songwriters singing about their boyfriends," she wrote. "If they change the subject matter...Journalists feel there is just something missing."
She ended her message calling on her followers to join her in stopping the pervasive cycle of harassment and assault. "Let's hope this statement supports the actresses and actors all over. Let's stop this. There is a wave of change in the world."
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