The man who gave us Magneeto and Gandalf, the acclaimed British actor Sir Ian McKellen, has an important message for the #MeToo movement: false accusations happen and some actresses willingly trade sex for roles.
Speaking at the Oxford Union, the Academy Award-nominated actor first honored the actual victims coming forward in the #MeToo movement, praising their courage and hoping for a better a future.
“It’s sometimes very difficult for victims to do that,” he said. “I hope we’re going through a period that will help to eradicate it altogether.”
That being said, McKellen offered another perspective, about how many women in 1960s would objectify themselves for the sake of getting roles.
“The director of the theatre I was working at showed me some photographs he got from women who were wanting jobs,” he said. “Some of them had at the bottom of their photograph ‘DRR’ — directors’ rights respected. In other words, if you give me a job, you can have sex with me.”
McKellen said that behavior was far more common than it should have been, declaring it “madness.” He also warned against the witch hunt environment that leads to false accusations and lives ruined over allegations.
“I assume nothing but good will come out of these revelations, even though some people get wrongly accused — there’s that side of it as well,” he said.
Indeed, some feminists have heard this message and admit they do not care. In the height of the #MeToo movement, Teen Vogue writer Emily Lindin said on Twitter, “If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.”
When the first groping allegation against Sen. Al Franken first broke, before more accusers came forward, Michelle Goldberg at The New York Times said that she wanted him to fall regardless of the truth because “the current movement toward unprecedented accountability for sexual harassers will probably start to peter out.”
That means unless the heads start rolling, people will lose interest and go home. A scary thought indeed.