After news first broke last month about Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein's decades-long campaign of alleged sexual harassment and assault, the floodgates have opened, with hundreds of women and men coming forward to tell similar tales of abuses they've suffered at the hands of powerful people in the entertainment industry. But as many have already said, this isn't exactly a new story, as proven by more than 70-year-old remarks from a legendary star of Hollywood's Golden Age.
The piece, featuring the late Irish actress Maureen O'Hara ("The Quiet Man," "How Green Was My Valley"), was published in the New York Mirror back in 1945, and was recently unearthed on Twitter by pianist James Rhodes. The story detailed O'Hara's grievances with inappropriate requests from her superiors on film sets, including directors and producers whom the actress alleged had essentially blacklisted her because she refused to provide them with sexual favors.
This was reported in 1945. What a woman 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/6cTFGgadNf— James Rhodes (@JRhodesPianist) November 4, 2017
O'Hara, an Ireland native, said that she had been labeled "a cold potato without sex appeal" because of it.
"I am so upset with it that I am ready to quit Hollywood," the actress told the Mirror. "It's got so bad I hate to come to work in the morning."
Her remarks continued:
"I'm a helpless victim of a Hollywood whispering campaign. Because I don't let my producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me they have spread the word around town that I am not a woman -- that I am a cold piece of marble statuary. I guess Hollywood won't consider me as anything except a cold hunk of marble until I divorce my husband, give my baby away and get my name and photograph in all the newspapers. If that's Hollywood's idea of a woman I'm ready to quit now."
It's scary how much of what O'Hara writes is relevant to the stories coming out today, and just proves that Hollywood has a long, long way to go to right its decades-long (and in O'Hara's case, almost century-long) wrongs. Here's hoping her newly unearthed remarks don't fall on deaf ears again.