The hit show Westworld has come under much scrutiny for the presence of sexual assault and its violent treatment of women in its initial episodes.
This past week, Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood defended the way women are treated in the show in an issue of Rolling Stone magazine. And, while explaining why she believes what Westworld is doing is important, Wood also opened up about her past. In the initial Rolling Stone feature, Wood said:
I don’t like gratuitous violence against women at all, but I would wait for the context in which it’s being used. As the show progresses, the way it’s being used is very much a commentary and a look at our humanity and why we find these things entertaining and why this is an epidemic, and flipping it on its head. Yes. I’ve been raped. By a significant other while we were together. And on a separate occasion, by the owner of a bar … I don’t believe we live in a time where people can stay silent any longer. Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism.
But this was only the beginning. After the article was published, Wood tweeted the letter, in its entirety. She summed up her explanation for doing this in a tweet:
Well. since everything is out in the open now, figured I would share the confession letter I wrote to Rolling Stone in its entirety. #NotOkAttached to this tweet was the following screen grab of a letter:
I started questioning my reasons for staying vague about my experiences as a girl growing up in America. I think, like a lot of women, I had the urge to not make it a sob story, to not make it about me. I didn't have to confirm what happened, what mattered is that shit happened. Bad. Shit. That still affects me to this day. I think deep down, I also didn't want to be accused of doing it for attention, or told it wasn't a big deal or "that's not really rape." I will not be ashamed. I will also not project some false idea of being completely over it because "I am so strong." I don't believe we live in a time where we can stay silent any longer. I certainly can't. Not given the state our world is in with its blatant bigotry and sexism. It should be talked about because its swept under the rug as nothing and I will not accept this as "normal." It's a serious problem.
I am still standing. I am alive. I am happy. I am strong. But I am still not OK. I think it's important for people to know that, for survivors to own that, and that the pressure to just get over it already, should be lifted. It will remind people of the damage that has been done and how the trauma of a few minutes can turn into a lifetime of fighting for yourself. It's not that you can't get over it, it's just that you are never the same, or maybe I just haven't gotten there yet. So to answer your question bluntly, yes. I have been raped. By a significant other when we were together. And on a separate occasion, by the owner of a bar. The first time I was unsure that if it was done by a partner it was still in fact rape, until too late. And who would believe me. And the second time, I thought it was my fault and that I should have fought back more, but I was scared. This was many many years ago and I of course know now neither one was my fault and neither one was ok. This was all before I tried to commit suicide and I am sure was one of the many factors. There you have it.
H/T: Uproxx, Twitter