In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations among others against key players in the entertainment industry, Saoirse Ronan has been one of the many actresses to have added her voice to the condemnation of this abuse of power.
Like other actresses, she and Greta Gerwig, the director and writer of Lady Bird, which Greta directed Saoirse in to earn a Golden Globe nod (here’s hoping she wins this Sunday!), will be wearing black to this weekend’s awards ceremony.
In a TimesTalks chat at New York's Kaufman Music Center yesterday, the Irish actress admitted that she had witnessed things on film sets she didn’t recognise at the time as abusive and that the full extent of the problem 'went over her head'.
She said that when she heard about the allegations of abuse and harassment on Hollywood: “I wasn’t surprised, I was disappointed that this has been allowed to go on and so many people that I know and respect have felt unsafe.
“It’s so important for everyone on a film set and any industry to feel safe in order to do their best work. It’s made me rethink my experiences and things I’ve seen on set.
Looking back on her experiences as a former child star, she continued: “I was very lucky that I was protected by my parents and my mum was always there but it’s made me go back and think "oh no that shouldn’t have happened", and "that producer shouldn’t have told me to keep quiet about that thing," that’s not ok and that’s inappropriate.
“It’s so crazy and dangerous to think that went over my head until we started talking about it and these incredibly brave people have come out.”
Gerwig added: “I completely agree. It felt like all of a sudden being able to see a different colour.
“It’s like I’ve seen it my whole life and didn’t have a name for it. I'm so grateful to the leaders of the conversation and the way it’s being used now to promote real change and movement. Because it’s just so important and so past time.”