Hollywood has been in the news a lot lately and, unfortunately, so has sexual harassment and assault. Since the allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein became extremely public, numerous other men in show business have been accused of sexual misconduct, including director James Toback and Kevin Spacey.
At the Rome Film Festival, Dakota Fanning addressed this crucial topic at a photo op with reporters. According to the Associated Press, she mentioned that she has not been victimized in Hollywood the way other women have described. She did say that it is "important to talk about these issues, for women to stand up for themselves."
Fanning is right. Many of these allegations have been whispered about for decades. They were jokes on Family Guy. They were blind items on gossip sites. But because women chose to come forward, Weinstein and others have been taken to task professionally, if not legally. The reality is, nearly half of all women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. It's shockingly common, but not surprising. We're talking about it now because women were brave enough to speak out.
Fanning was in Rome to present her new movie Please Stand By. In the film, she plays a character named Wendy, who has autism. Wendy runs away from her caretakers in order to enter a Star Trek scriptwriting competition. Of her character, Fanning says "you have to fight for what you believe in and stay true to what you are."
The film is directed by Ben Lewin and also stars Toni Collette, Marla Gibbs, and River Alexander.