In the wake of recent allegations of sexual misconduct against high profile Hollywood figures like Harvey Weinstein and head of Amazon's entertainment studio, Roy Price, women both in and outside the industry are coming forward with their stories using the hashtag "#MeToo." The purpose of the movement is to show just how widespread the issue of sexual assault and harassment truly is, and to illustrate the need for real change. Actress America Ferrera is the latest star to come forward with her story of sexual assault, and it's truly heartbreaking.
"Me too," she began a note that she posted on her Instagram. "First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9 years old. I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a 9-year-old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man. I had to see this man on a daily basis for years to come. He would smile at me and wave, and I would hurry past him, my blood running cold, my guts carrying the burden of what only he & I knew — that he expected me to shut my mouth and smile back."
She ended the post with a call for action.
"Ladies, let's break the silence so the next generation of girls won't have to live with this bullshit."
Making things better for the next generation is something that's always been important to the Superstore star. Ferrera advocates for better representation not just for women, but also for the Latinx community.
"The same stereotypes get played over and over again," she told People about her new digital series, Gente-Fied, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January. "I think what we’re used to seeing is Latinos as gangsters, drug dealers, or people trying to cross the border, and while all those things may be true and real to an extent, we as Latinos are so much more than that and there is so many representations of our experience and who we are that completely goes unseen. We’re engrained the gay community. We’re engrained in the artists community. We’re engrained in the culinary community. We’re so rarely represented for all of the things that we are."
Her bravery in speaking out about all these difficult issues inspires fans — and us — every day