Gabrielle Union has always spoken up for sexual assault and rape victims. But in a new interview for The New York Times, she commented on the wave of sexual assault allegations and the sudden influx in support. The actress suggested that these incidents of abuse and misuse of power are only being taken seriously and being discussed after white women were affected.
As previously reported, the #MeToo movement has gone viral, telling stories of abuse in Hollywood, politics and everywhere else for that matter. Union, who is a survivor of rape herself, has often spoke about her experience as well. But she said national attention came much much later. “I think the floodgates have opened for white women,” Union stated. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence whose pain has been taken seriously. Whose pain we have showed historically and continued to show. Whose pain is tolerable and whose pain is intolerable. And whose pain needs to be addressed now.”
In the interview, the We’re Going to Need more Wine author also asserted that the reception to the #MeToo movement would have been much different if the women abused by Harvey Weinstein or any other high power executive had not been “Hollywood royalty” or even of a different color. “If they hadn’t been approachable. If they hadn’t been people who have had access to parts and roles and true inclusion in Hollywood, would we have believed,” she questioned.
Union wrapped up her points by encouraging women of privilege and of a particularly influential platform to amplify the voices of those under them and ensure that justice is reached for all victims. “When we have the microphone how often do we pass it back to the people who are experiencing a different challenge, but who are equally worthy as having the microphone?”