Ellen Page Accuses Brett Ratner of Homophobic, Sexual Harassment on ‘X-Men’ Set in Powerful Post
“You should f—k her to make her realize she’s gay,” director Brett Ratner allegedly said on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand. So begins a powerful statement from actress Ellen Page, who accuses Ratner of homophobic and sexual harassment in front of a group of her co-stars and professional peers when she was just 18 years of age. Page’s statement arrives in the wake of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and rape in the industry, perpetrated by affluent men such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and yes, Brett Ratner.
In a Los Angeles Times report published on November 1, six women came forward to accuse Ratner of harassment and assault, including actresses Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn. Today, in a thoughtful and heart-rending statement on Facebook, Page shares her own story of abuse at the hands of Ratner, highlighting a different — but no less destructive and prevalent — form of harassment.
According to Page, Ratner outed her when she was just 18, “a young adult who had not yet come out to myself,” she says. “I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak.” Page, who has since come out as gay on her own, describes the specific incident, which occurred on the first day of filming X-Men: The Last Stand, in which she played Kitty Pryde:
“You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.” He said this about me during a cast and crew “meet and greet” before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand. I was eighteen years old. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: “You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.” He was the film’s director, Brett Ratner.
Page goes on to explain how Ratner’s homophobic and sexist actions affected her and others on set:
I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He “outed” me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic. I proceeded to watch him on set say degrading things to women. I remember a woman walking by the monitor as he made a comment about her “flappy pussy”.
Later, Page says she got into an altercation with Ratner when she refused to wear a t-shirt with “Team Ratner” printed on it. “I am not on your team,” she said. Some time after, she was reprimanded by producers, who told Page that she “couldn’t talk like that to him.”
When Page was 16, she says, she was sexually harassed by a director and subsequently sexually assaulted by a grip a few months later. “I was asked by a director to sleep with a man in his late twenties and to tell them about it,” she says. “I did not.” The actress’ statement also calls out the hypocrisy in Hollywood, where directors like Roman Polanski and Woody Allen are continuously celebrated and enabled to avoid reconciling with their alleged misdeeds. For her part, Page says that starring in a Woody Allen movie is now “the biggest regret of [her] career.”
Page’s post is incredibly thoughtful about the prevalence of misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and harassment and assault — not just in the industry, but outside of it. The actress expresses an acute awareness that, though she has suffered in her own ways, she has privileges that many others in the civilian world do not:
Ratner’s comment replayed in my mind many times over the years as I encountered homophobia and coped with feelings of reluctance and uncertainty about the industry and my future in it. The difference is that I can now assert myself and use my voice to to fight back against the insidious queer and transphobic attitude in Hollywood and beyond. Hopefully having the position I have, I can help people who may be struggling to be accepted and allowed to be who they are –to thrive. Vulnerable young people without my advantages are so often diminished and made to feel they have no options for living the life they were meant to joyously lead.
You can read Page’s full post below: