I’m sure it has happened, yes

Stage and screen star Sir Ian McKellen has spoken out about the sex scandal in film and theatre,claiming women are partly responsible because some tell directors they’ll sleep with them to win roles.

‘People must be called out and it’s sometimes very difficult for victims to do that,’ the Lord Of The Rings star said in a talk at the Oxford Union recently.

‘I hope we’re going through a period that will help to eradicate it altogether. But from my own experience, when I was starting acting in the early Sixties, the director of the theatre I was working at showed me some photographs he got from women who were wanting jobs. . . 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.

Female youth and beauty are indeed assets that some trade with. As with male for those with a different flavour of interests at times.

Shrug.

A liberal society allows those who wish to to do so, equally coming down very hard on duress. You know, this consenting adults thing?

26 comments on “I’m sure it has happened, yes

  1. Duress is very hard to measure. Almost impossible in some cases. And it is getting blurred all the time.

    Also a lot of it comes down to He Said, She Said. How do we know what was threatened in someone’s hotel room? A lot of corporations might prefer to avoid the hassle.

    On top of which, extorting sex from starlets might be a nice perk of the office, but it is a form of corruption that is taking a benefit which rightfully belongs to the corporate owners. If I hire a sub-standard secretary because she is good at blowing me, how is that different from using sub-standard materials because I get a kick back? A lot of companies are now losing money because they turned a blind eye.

  2. @SMFS “If I hire a sub-standard secretary because she is good at blowing me”

    Woman turns up for a job interview and hands the interviewer an envelope. “here are my references” she says.

    Inside the envelope is a short note “hire this girl, she gives amazing blow-jobs”

    So she gets the job and on her first day proves to her new boss that the reference was right.

    “Your last boss was telling the truth when he wrote that reference” he says.

    She smiles “he didn’t write the reference, I did”.

  3. All respect to gandalf but his story was second hand at best and it sounds very much like an urban legend. The DRR story that is not the phenomena of casting couch. If true i’d expect some photos in somone’s collection to emerge but even then it might signify something else and the media may not print due to libel concerns (director or actor)

  4. I have this mental image of Gandalf running terrified through Hoxton, persued by a hate-filled mob of women in dungarees and men with silly beards.

  5. “A liberal society allows those who wish to to do so, equally coming down very hard on duress.”

    Agreed. But duress isn’t hard to spot when the likes of Weinstein and Spacey are in their pomp. A sleazy industry that venerate power chose and chooses not to spot it.

  6. I’m sorry but any woman who took money or movie roles as compensation for sex (when voluntary or not) is a whore.

    These women had a responsibility to speak up. They didn’t. They took the money /fame. They don’t deserve one iota of sympathy. Especially the ones that are complaining now after 20 year careers simply because they got old and the work dried up.

  7. “Why would anyone show Ian McKellan nudie pics of young women…?”

    Ian showed me* his manhood once… No warning either just whipped off his clothes and started acting pretty crazy.

    *and the rest of the audience.

  8. If I had to express a concern it would be about what is normal and accepted. As unemployed women have been pointed towards brothels in New Zealand and Germany – with threats of stopping their benefits – we ought to think about what we want to say is acceptable.

    Yes, the feminists have killed gentlemanly behaviour. Now men are not gentle. They can live with it as far as I am concerned. However I still don’t like the idea of sending a female relative out in the world where this is normal. It is not the way the British acting world behaves. By and large. It shouldn’t be.

    After all, we know where this leads – purdah. It is why people who have had to live with Muslims for any length of time do not let their women out in public. We probably don’t really want to go down that route.

  9. @SMFS
    The idea that women in Germany and New Zealand are pressured to accept jobs in the sex industry seems to be an urban legend. There are plenty of feminists who claim that legal prostitution means women have to work in brothels or lose their benefits, but no actual cases of that happening are ever presented.

    I’ve seen the same claim about lap dancing clubs in the UK from feminists campaigning for them to be banned. The nearest thing to actual examples were past cases of job centres allowing ‘adult entertainment’ listings. No non-hypothetical women forced to choose between stripping or losing their benefits ever showed up to complain about it.

    That kind of thing being legal and tolerated doesn’t necessarily mean that it becomes normalised or respectable.

  10. “I hope we’re going through a period that will help to eradicate it altogether.” Wise fool! The US is going through such a period on guns in schools, resulting in one child sent home for biting a piece of toast into a shape that resembled a handgun. Applying zero-tolerance to sexual overtures in the workplace will bring chaos there too, as applying zero-tolerance to politicians has led to a game of Russian roulette in the Capitol.

    The desire for perfection by rulebook obscures the fact that, in practice, there are no fixed rules — The political rehabilitation of Al Franken is now underway, as that soap opera served its purpose.

  11. Flubber–Apart from the name-calling, the woman in your anecdote understands the dynamics of her workplace. The boss was not given his power in order to get his nut off (or maybe his management accepts that as a fringe benefit). The woman understands her work situation, and you do not, apart from a heroic concept of how women should behave.

    Your main point is correct, that women coming forward to denounce the game they played, now that they have diminished ability to play it, should have little credibility.

  12. Why would anyone show Ian McKellan nudie pics of young women…?

    In best Jim Bowen voice, “let’s see what you would have won…”

  13. So are we going to dig up the corpses of Howard Hughes and Fatty Arbuckle and perform post mortem execution on them like they did with the regicides of Charles the First?

    The casting couch has existed since ancient times and pretty, but otherwise unremarkable people have used their bodies to gain leverage against their peers, same with universities, because that hard-to-get internship with the Nobel laureate might just fall into your lap if you did some horizontal jogging with one or more tenured professors (of either sex).

    All the faux horror of the Hollywood crowd is just tiresome.

    We’ve all seen this play before, don’t make us sit through it ’til the end.

  14. The idea that women in Germany and New Zealand are pressured to accept jobs in the sex industry seems to be an urban legend.

    Wasn’t there a documented case of a German woman refusing to go for interview for a receptionist’s job at a knocking shop?

  15. @SE – In short, no.

    The origin of this story was a December 2004 article published in the Berlin newspaper Tageszeitung which presented the concept of welfare being docked for refusal to interview for an ancillary job at a brothel as a technical possibility under the law as it stood at that time. It did not provide any actual cases of women losing their benefits over this issue, despite unsubstantiated anecdata for which no evidence was offered.

    The article also quoted representatives from employment agencies as saying that while it might be possible for employment agencies to offer jobs as prostitutes to “long-term unemployed” women, they (the agencies) could not require anyone to work in a brothel. (The agencies noted that brothels used “other recruitment channels” anyway.)

    http://www.taz.de/!658905/ (copy of original article in German)

  16. “So are we going to dig up the corpses of Howard Hughes and Fatty Arbuckle and perform post mortem execution on them like they did with the regicides of Charles the First?”

    No

    That’s reserved for the carcass of Ted Heath. And no “His band wasn’t that bad ” jokes please.

  17. That will be difficult, since the fat, little queer has hopefully spent the last decade and a bit buried deep within the frozen ice fields of the Antenoron Cocytus (the Ninth circle of Hell reserved for Traitors to Country)

  18. Kendall – “The idea that women in Germany and New Zealand are pressured to accept jobs in the sex industry seems to be an urban legend.”

    The Telegraph seems to think it happened:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1482371/If-you-dont-take-a-job-as-a-prostitute-we-can-stop-your-benefits.html

    “That kind of thing being legal and tolerated doesn’t necessarily mean that it becomes normalised or respectable.”

    Unlike abortion, divorce, homosexuality, gambling and so on?

  19. John Galt – “same with universities, because that hard-to-get internship with the Nobel laureate might just fall into your lap if you did some horizontal jogging with one or more tenured professors (of either sex).”

    I am willing to bet that no internship has ever been won with a Nobel Laureate in exchange for sex. Not one. Ever. Nobels are awarded in useful things. Not acting. Well, maybe perhaps in economics (Janet Yellen? Oh God no).

  20. If comely young women cannot persuade men to advantage now – what has become of you all.

    Not really a case of that, I’m sure the advances are made and the temptations remain the same, but the risks are simply too high.

    We all know this went on in the past, but previously it was kept quiet because the women didn’t want to let on that the only reason they got the part was because they put out for some Hollywood scumbag.

    You’ll notice that it’s not the celebs who made it that are bitching, so much as the ones who didn’t.

    I wonder why that it… 🙂

  21. SMFS,

    “On top of which, extorting sex from starlets might be a nice perk of the office, but it is a form of corruption that is taking a benefit which rightfully belongs to the corporate owners. If I hire a sub-standard secretary because she is good at blowing me, how is that different from using sub-standard materials because I get a kick back? A lot of companies are now losing money because they turned a blind eye.”

    This is where this doesn’t add up, because Harvey Weinstein was doing this even when Miramax was him and his brother Bob. He was basically robbing from himself. On the surface he should have been paying for escorts.

    So, why didn’t he? Why did he screw actresses? And I think the answer is that you don’t work on Weinstein films for the money. You work on Weinstein films as marketing. You do the film, win an Oscar and then everyone wants you for every project as you can now attach some “starring Oscar winner” prestige to them.

    The problem is that Harvey Weinstein gets a tiny proportion of those millions.

  22. So “as the actress said to the bishop” is a stereotype.
    There are reasons for stereotypes, Timmy keeps reminding us.

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