Ellen Page: Brett Ratner outed me in front of cast & crew when I was 18 years old

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In 2006, Ellen Page appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand, one of the worst of the X-Men series. That was the film helmed by director Brett Ratner, and it was and is widely seen as one of the worst entries in the franchise. Ellen played Kitty Pryde, a young mutant at Professor X’s school for mutants. She was 18 years old when she filmed it. And Ellen has some awful stories about Brett Ratner. She wrote a lengthy Facebook post about Ratner and a lot more – you can read the full piece here. Here’s the Ratner part of it:

“You should f–k 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 f–k her to make her realize she’s gay.” He was the film’s director, Brett Ratner.

I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. 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 p–sy”.

We are all entitled to come into an awareness of our sexual orientation privately and on our own terms. I was young and although already a working actor for so long I had in many ways been insulated, growing up on film sets instead of surrounded by my peers. This public, aggressive outing left me with long standing feelings of shame, one of the most destructive results of homophobia. Making someone feel ashamed of who they are is a cruel manipulation, designed to oppress and repress. I was robbed of more than autonomy over my ability to define myself.

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.

I got into an altercation with Brett at a certain point. He was pressuring me, in front of many people, to don a t-shirt with “Team Ratner” on it. I said no and he insisted. I responded, “I am not on your team.” Later in the day, producers of the film came to my trailer to say that I “couldn’t talk like that to him.” I was being reprimanded, yet he was not being punished nor fired for the blatantly homophobic and abusive behavior we all witnessed. I was an actor that no one knew. I was eighteen and had no tools to know how to handle the situation.

[From Ellen’s Facebook]

I believe Ellen Page. I also believe that dozens (if not hundreds) of actors and below-the-line talent probably have similar stories about Brett Ratner’s behavior, his assault, his general grossness, his casual sexism, misogyny and homophobia. Lest we forget, he was basically fired from producing the Oscars because he said “rehearsal is for f-gs.” Also: Anna Paquin remembers the day Ratner outed Ellen too:

In the rest of Ellen’s Facebook post (which you really should read in its entirety), Ellen also details some awful sexual harassment she faced as a teenager in the industry, with grown men fondling her leg when she was just 16, or when a director asked her to sleep with a man and then tell him about it. She applies her experiences to the larger experiences of marginalized communities, whether it’s trans women, women of color and more, making a plea to empower their voices as well. Add to all of that, she apologizes for appearing in a Woody Allen film, writing: “I did a Woody Allen movie and it is the biggest regret of my career. I am ashamed I did this. I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because ‘of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.’ Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice. I made an awful mistake.” That’s more than anyone else has said about working with Woody.

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59 Responses to “Ellen Page: Brett Ratner outed me in front of cast & crew when I was 18 years old”

  1. Nicole says:

    This statement was spot on. Makes me wonder if she consulted on it because it hit every nail on the head. But Ellen typically gets it right regardless.
    To be forcibly outed is so wrong on many levels. And to be 18 as well. Ugh

    • Erinn says:

      I love her so much. I think she’s incredibly talented, and likable but not in a way that sells herself short. She is who she is – she’s intelligent, she’s thoughtful, and she’swell-spoken. She cares about social issues – she doesn’t go out with the need to be adored in the same way so many other famous people do – but she’s still so likable despite it – and also because of it.

  2. Lorelai says:

    Brett Ratner has always been a creepy pig but this is a new low. Imagine the kind of emotional trauma this inflicted on an 18-year-old girl.

    There is a very special place in hell for him, IMO.

  3. Ruth says:

    But it’s fine when sites like these out people from the lgbt community?

  4. Anna says:

    I’m so glad she said that about regretting being in a WA film, anyone can make a mistake but very few are willing to own it! She was young and felt pressured, completely understandable, now if only some other actors would do this…

  5. monette says:

    Wow, saying that about a WA film takes guts. RESPECT! You are amazing, Ellen!
    I believe you, I stand by you and thank you!

    ps: Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and every other person who has appeared in a WA movie should take note. This is how it’s done.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    Ratner has always been trash, so this didn’t surprise me in the least.

    Sadly, it also didn’t surprise me that when Anna Paquin offered her support, people decided to pile on HER about why she didn’t do something to stop it or why she didn’t say anything. My god-she was only 24 at the time and was by no means a power player. What did they think she would have been able to do?

  7. Lucy2 says:

    Bravo to Ellen for having the guts to share this awful incident, and to Anna for backing her up. Ratner has long been a bully and worse, and is finally being taken down.
    I also really appreciate what Ellen said about the Woody Allen film. I think we need to hear this from a few others as well, I don’t understand how so many of them can justify working with him.

  8. serena says:

    First of all, Brett Ratner is a disgusting piece of garbage. Second, I like Ellen Page a lot and I’m glad she finally could tell her story.. finally, I loved her apology for being in a Woody Allen’s movie.

  9. adastraperaspera says:

    I appreciated her apologizing for the Woody Allen movie. As someone who many years ago was also young, gay and scared to come out, I cannot imagine what it was like for her to have to stand there and put up with his abuse in front of the cast. Who raises men like this? Who are their enablers?

  10. Nicegirl says:

    It means a lot to me that she says she made an awful mistake in working with WA.

    I am so sad to hear of the disgusting ways people speak; I applaud Ellen for her statement and support of others. I would be so frickin pissed to hear someone had the audacity to speak to my child in that manner. Guess I’d best prepare, since folks are awesome.

  11. Miss Kittles says:

    I’ve always liked Ellen Page & I applaud her! Brett Fatner has always given me those creep vibes!

  12. Mia4s says:

    This may sound weird but I wish she had separated out her Allen regret from the statement about Ratner. I’m seeing far too many sites and people shift focus to the Allen statement. Really people? An LGBTQ woman speaks out about horrific harassment and your response is to focus on something she feels SHE did wrong? Really?

    Oh and this is a very brave statement….but nothing about her OTHER XMen diretor. Hmmmm. I don’t say that to criticize her but we need to stay focused and notice when even the bravest of celebs are too frightened to mention certain people. She mentioned the usual names we have heard about or about whom accusations have been made and yet having worked with Singer she says nothing. She’s still afraid and likely with reason.

    • Neelyo says:

      I don’t think she worked with Singer. I think this was the only installment she appeared in. Can anyone confirm?

      • Mia4s says:

        X-Men Days of Future Past. Her second most successful film ever after Inception. Released 3 years ago.

        http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=xmen2014.htm

      • She worked with him on Days of Future Past. But if she’s scared to name him, I think she has good reason. I thought she pretty much backed up what Corey Feldman has been saying.

      • LaBlah says:

        She was in Days of Future Past which was directed by Singer. That said she’s not obliged to say anything at all.

      • Neelyo says:

        Thanks all, I forgot about that. Love her, but I thought she was terrible in Days of Future Past, maybe that’s why I forgot it.

      • Mia4s says:

        I want to be very clear that I’m not criticizing her for not naming him (although you know that when/if that story breaks she will be criticized and side-eyed for it by a certain segment), it’s just it was a glaring omission that make me nervous about what’s going on behind the scenes to protect him. Keep an eye on this people.

        However it is a good reminder that there are no perfect advocates in this. What if she didn’t say anything because she doesn’t believe the stories? Would that make what she said here any less valid? I’m really uncomfortable with once again people demanding women be perfect or ask forgiveness to be heard and considered worthwhile. It’s complicated. It’s all very complicated.

      • Caity says:

        She also worked on Days of Future Past, directed by Singer. That was after her first X-Men film, though, so she may have been contractually obligated.

      • Mia: I agree. Singer’s team has already scrubbed the internet to get rid of any articles with his behavior. And where’s Anthony Edwards’ story? Buried.

        I think that tells us what is going on.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I wouldn’t think Gary Goddard would have the power to get things scrubbed, unlike Singer. I’m glad that Hargitay’s JoyfulHeart Foundation was able to help Edwards, which was not something she could have foreseen all those years ago when she created it.

      • Goddard has plenty of power behind him to bury the Anthony Edwards story. If he goes down, people are going down with him including Singer. It’s in their best interest to make sure that story has no legs. Allegedly…

      • magnoliarose says:

        Why isn’t Anthony Edwards getting anywhere? It is a key to the whole thing. This is when Gawker would have come in handy.

      • msd says:

        Re. Anthony Edwards. My gut feeling says there is stuff going on behind the scenes and more about Goddard will come out soon. Other people coming forward etc. I read one comment on Deadline already from someone who backed him up, an old high school era friend. More people have probably contacted him directly. Ditto journalists.

        It’s kind of a big deal because Goddard was co-accused in the lawsuit against Singer. People need to be really careful and thorough. Farrow kind of set a template for these articles, more than the NYT really, that others are following.

        Journalists are tweeting that they’ve been flooded with stories. It’s got to the point where they can only pick ones that include someone high profile, which is really sad and depressing.

        Someone compared it to the Catholic church child abuse scandal … instead of dying off, it just keeps going and going and going.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      People probably would have still jumped on her for working with Woody Allen back in 2012 even if she had left that out of her statement. I’m with you on there being no perfect advocates, allies, and feminists though, and right now I’m a little over the demand that women be perfect in order to be heard.

    • lucy2 says:

      My guess is she’s only speaking of her own experiences, and maybe had no problem with Singer on set, like she did with Ratner? Or perhaps Singer’s issues aren’t as well known as Allen’s? Not sure, but for some reason, Ratner and Allen are the two she chose to speak about here.

      • Mia4s says:

        “and maybe had no problem with Singer on set, like she did with Ratner? Or perhaps Singer’s issues aren’t as well known as Allen’s?”

        But there’s zero indication she had any problem with Allen on set either. As I understand it she feels it was wrong because of the allegation against him, not because she has any negative experience with him. It’s still a valid opinion for her to express (although absolutely nothing will come of it).

        You’re right though in that the difference is the one accusation against Allen is public and has been for almost three decades, while there are multiple accusations against Singer but none on the record yet. Only Jessica Chastain has called him out, which was gutsy to say the least (yes he’s a producer on her movie but again, no perfect advocate, it’s complicated). Fear is still rampant among most Hollywood women and many men so I won’t be judging who does and doesn’t speak out unless they are accused as abusers or complicit enablers of the abuse.

    • Marianne says:

      I think she probably grouped it together because Woody Allen is also a sh** person. I think it just plays to the overall narrative of how small and helpless you feel when someone is a position of power over you and can make or break your career. She felt pressured to say yes to doing a Woody Allen film.

  13. ell says:

    oh dear, poor ellen. i’m bisexual, and i know well coming out is a big deal, and i also knew but didn’t know. it’s just awful.

    re woody allen: that’s why i’m sort of lenient with actors working with him (unless they’re A list, incredibly rich and in their 30s/40s and should know better, looking at you kate winslet and justin timberlake), they’re probably pushed into it because it’s woody allen. i’m hoping this will change now.

  14. Jayna says:

    What a piece of work Ratner is. Ellen is a class act.

  15. Freddy Spaghetti says:

    Ratner is disgusting. Ellen Page is awesome and I adore her. So nice to finally see someone say they regret working with Woody Allen too!

  16. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I hope more women come forward with stories about Ratner – and we all know there are more women with stories to tell. And bravo to Page for having the moral courage to admit working with WA was a mistake. If only more actresses actually thought about this and 1. Acknowledged their mistake in working with him or 2. Stopped taking roles in his films. Preferably both.

  17. sza says:

    Is there a boat leaving for the Island of Dr. Moreau anytime soon? Cause the Weinstein, Moore, Ratner and oh, so many others need to have some cabins booked.

    • Hunter says:

      I agree, but I’m not holding my breath. I finally saw the documentary “An Open Secret” 2 nights ago and it was infuriating. Even more so when I realized I was watching it via hard-to-find torrents because it’s been pushed down under by the powers that be. It’s one thing for an adult to choose to keep quiet about their experiences, but at least for the children, something should have been done long, long ago. I’m feeling more and more every day, over Hollywood in general.

  18. Curious says:

    It fits in with the topic of this article so I write this: there were a lot of attempts to publish the sexual abuse in Hollywood. But look what happened: not much. Even when people tried to tell or when movies were made then they weren’t listened to nor watched. See this one:

    Movie: An Open Secret

    Revelations about the child abuse in Hollywood. No distributor wanted to distribute this movie. The producers did upload it on vimeo so people can see it:

    Trailer: https://vimeo.com/133552013
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JpHUaMBARU
    Complete movie: https://vimeo.com/142444429

  19. msd says:

    Ellen Page did speak a little about Bryan Singer three years ago. She said she was disturbed by the allegations and that the truth would come out, but also said she had a really good experience working with him. She sounded conflicted. Then everything was dropped, the main accuser was convicted of fraud, the other guy suddenly withdrew, and it all went away…

    She isn’t stupid. I’m sure she either suspects or has private doubts but if she has no knowledge I’m not sure what she can say right now. In a way it’s easier for Chastain, who has never met Singer, to call him out. It’s also complicated by the fact that when people attack him they’re often accused of homophobia (or at least they used to be) and there is plenty of homophobia in Hollywood.

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