James Van Der Beek Comes Forward Revealing He Was Harassed By "Older, Powerful Men"

Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images.
The Harvey Weinstein scandal that broke last week still has everyone reeling. It's opened up a huge conversation about sexual harassment in Hollywood, and has prompted many actors and other insiders to come forward with their own stories of harassment to illustrate how widespread this culture really is — and how it affects men as well as women.
Actor James Van Der Beek, star of What Would Diplo Do?, has taken to Twitter to do just that. Last night he retweeted Liz Meriwether's article from The Cut about the emotional and logistical difficulties of reporting sexual harassment, and added his own commentary to this important discussion.
Advertisement
"For anyone judging the women who stayed silent, read this for perspective," he began. "Also for anyone brushing off harassment as 'boys being boys.' What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable – in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out."
This is where things got personal. In addition to the reports of sexual misconduct against women, Van Der Beek himself says he has been on the receiving end of assault.
"I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger..." he wrote. "I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome."
What the Harvey Weinstein reports, and the numerous people coming forward following publication, reveal is that there's even more power in speaking out. One voice can lead to many and, in the case of Weinstein, result in real change. The mogul has been ousted from his company, and his wife, Georgina Chapman, has announced that she is leaving him.
This, of course, doesn't undo the decades of alleged harassment and abuse, but it does demonstrate that it doesn't (and shouldn't) have to be status quo.
Advertisement