James Van Der Beek has revealed his own experiences of sexual harassment at the hands of ‘older, powerful men’ in Hollywood, as the allegations around Harvey Weinstein continue to engulf the film industry.
Van Der Beek made the claims on Twitter in a series of posts that offered support to the women who had spoken out against Weinstein. “For anyone judging the women who stayed silent, read this for perspective. Also for anyone brushing off harassment as ‘boys being boys’,” he wrote, linking to an article from fashion website The Cut that detailed a writer’s hotel-room experience with a ‘powerful man’ .
The former Dawson’s Creek actor went on to recount his own personal experience of abuse, though did not name names. “I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger,” he wrote. “I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome”.
Van Der Beek added that “what Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable — in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out.”
As well as the allegations against Weinstein have prompted other figures in Hollywood to speak out about their own experiences of abuse. On Tuesday former NFL player and actor Terry Crews alleged that he was groped by an executive while at an industry function in 2016 , while One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton claimed that she was groped by actor Ben Affleck during an episode of MTV’s TRL in 2003 . Affleck has since apologised for acting “inappropriately” towards Burton.