Ashley Judd hopes Hollywood makes ‘amends’ after ‘maliciously blacklisting’ her

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle undertake their first official engagements together

Ashley Judd was one of the first women to come out and name Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator on the record. She had flirted with doing it for several years, telling her story but not naming names, but then everything came to a head when Ronan Farrow and the New York Times got on the story last year. Ashley was happy to take some of the first hits, and I truly believe that by coming forward, she gave many other women the space to speak out as well. Ashley covers the new issue of Town and Country Magazine, and the interview – such as it is – is more of a conversation between Ashley and her BFF Salma Hayek. It’s pretty interesting too – they adore each other and they’ve known each other for decades, and you can really feel their history together. You can read the full piece here, and here are some of the Ashley-specific quotes:

Living in Tennessee, not Hollywood: “I have bifurcated my life by choosing to live in Tennessee, so in many ways I’ve been isolated from the community in Hollywood. I have a very sweet, stable, and what one might call normal life there. I meditate, read, work, watch Kentucky basketball, and spend time with my friends and with my folks. I host a picnic every Sunday for my biological and my chosen families; I host a lot of dance parties. I get over to Great Smoky Mountains National Park as often as I can; I was there camping alone when the New York Times article came out [last October]. I didn’t know to what kind of world I would be returning. I was maybe going to be ostracized for it, but I was at peace with that.

Telling her Weinstein story: “I didn’t feel afraid. But remember, I’ve told this story from literally the moment I left that hotel room with Harvey. My dad was with me that day, and he could tell by the look on my face, to use his words, that something devastating had happened, and I told him. And both the producer and director of Kiss the Girls said recently that when I went to the set that night, I told them what had happened. I’ve been telling this story—but the seismic shift is that now everyone is willing to hear it. The tweak was naming Harvey, and I felt comfortable doing that.

Sisterhood among actresses: “Now that I’m more connected to this community again, I feel a shift and a sense of real discovery about female alliances. My favorite conversation recently was with Joan Collins—what a gentle and lovely person!—who immediately started telling me about the sexual harassment she experienced when she was 17 years old on her first set. And I feel really loved and appreciated right now. In these Time’s Up meetings, when I speak I notice that everyone really pays very close attention to what I say, so that’s a really sweet experience for me to have, like I have earned my stripes.

She hopes she’ll got more work: “I also hope to have more opportunities now; it would feel exceedingly nice at this particular juncture to be offered more work. I’m going to be doing a show on Broadway this fall. I was offered a romantic comedy. And that is the greatest amends that Hollywood can make to me for having maliciously blacklisted me for something that was patently false and promulgated by a sexual predator and alleged rapist. [Editor’s note: Weinstein reportedly spread rumors throughout Hollywood that Judd was impossible to work with as a result of her rebuffing his advances.]

Whether she forgives Weinstein: “Well, forgiveness is no favor. I do it for myself, and so I’ve already forgiven—it’s the easier way to live. I have to forgive myself for being young and vulnerable, for being in the room… But forgiveness, first of all, implies that I’ve judged someone, and that’s not a really healthy and appropriate place for me to be. I can certainly evaluate, but I guess the distinction I’m making is that condemnation is really not an energy that I want to keep inside of myself. Forgiveness just cuts those things—I can prosecute and forgive at the same time.

[From Town & Country]

I’m sure I’m not enlightened enough to understand her word-parsing on forgiveness and judgment. I get that she wants to be in a healthy frame of mind and if she feels like “let go and let God” towards Harvey Weinstein, so be it and that’s her choice. Other women and men can feel free to make other choices, other judgments, other condemnations and prosecutions. I will carry my anger, my rage, my judgment, my hatred for sexual predators for many years to come. Maybe that’s not the way to live and maybe that’s not the healthiest choice either. But I can’t bring myself to feel any other way.

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Cover courtesy of Town & Country, additional photo courtesy of Getty.

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15 Responses to “Ashley Judd hopes Hollywood makes ‘amends’ after ‘maliciously blacklisting’ her”

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  1. Lala says:

    Now…whenever I look at a movie from the 90s or the early 2000s that showcases an actor whom I KNEW would be a star…and they just…disappeared…I find myself wondering what the background is to that story…and I know…deep in my deepest hearts…that MOST of those beautiful flames…probably share the very same story…

  2. Una says:

    It is so sad that her story was disregarded for such a long time and it is downright tragic that victims are only listened when the accused is weak. Weinstein starts losing influence in Hollywood and accusations come up. Can #Metoo going to take down somebody at height of their career? Dr Luke and Venit are still going strong. Sigh…
    I wish her the best. I hope she can get a career boost that she deserves.

  3. Nick2 says:

    Jesus, what did she do to her face?

    • DesertReal says:

      She bought the Sela Ward deluxe package.

      • NoShame says:

        I know this is a serious post about a serious topic…but this comment had me laughing so hard. I feel bad about that, but it is what it is.

    • PPP says:

      Take your sexist policing bullshit to a post that isn’t about sexual harassment, please. You are part of the problem.

      • courtney says:

        amen PPP

      • Ada says:

        Agreed. I love gossip but often wish there was less of this kind of snark and shaming, even on posts that aren’t about sexual harassment. But here it is especially jarring.

  4. SJF says:

    There’s no easy answer to the topic of forgiving egregious wrongdoing.

    The lesson I think in all of what’s happened — and continues to evolve — with the long-overdue addressing of predatory behavior is to be truthful to yourself and not judge someone else’s genuine responses/feelings when they’re an ally in the same struggle.

    I’m filled with a lot of anger and rage right now. I hope it will pass or at least decrease from raging boil to simmer. Anger is a good motivating force — but it can also get in the way of real progress. So (for me, speaking only for me) I have to get past the heat of the anger into clarity so I can actually go forward and achieve progress for myself and other women/children/victims.

    Again, not telling anyone else what to do.

    Just asking as we go forward to show respect to those who act and react in a variety of different ways — if their ultimate goal is progress for women and against predators.

    We only hurt each other when we attack those working for substantive change in a variety of ways. It also takes focus off what really matters — going after the unacceptable behavior so we can just live our damned lives and work towards our myriad goals.

    Respect to all.

  5. Maya says:

    I will rage and get my revenge, then I will forgive and live my life in a happier place.

    I am not a saint to forgive people who has hurt me or my family or friends or colleagues. I would want them to suffer the same amount of hurt I suffered.

  6. courtney says:

    i dont trust hollywood to lead the charge. look at the oscars, they touted the pr of times up then presented an oscar to RAPIST kobe bryant. nope. they are not the moral authority. i like her and wish her peace but hollywood is a cespool of evil. much change needed

    • NoShame says:

      There is no industry out there that will have clean hands. Keep in mind, America itself voted for a predator to be President. There are NO clean hands anywhere.

      At least in Hollywood this is getting a LOT more visibility than say…systemic sexual harassment in the healthcare industry. Or any other industry for that matter. These women are famous. Their thoughts on this topic and their own stories of sexual harassment will be printed and reprinted all over the internet which is used all over the world. This blog post is just one example of that.

      No nurse working at the local hospital or teacher down at the school will ever receive this kind of attention. This is the kind of attention that leads to global visibility and to eventual change. I’m sure there are many women Academy voters who didn’t vote for Kobe Bryant, but there are still lots of other voters out there who will hopefully die off soon as they try to get a more diverse group of Academy voters.

  7. Adele Dazeem says:

    I’ve always liked Ashley and I support her 100 percent. I did love your comment, Kaiser about her word parsing, because while I consider myself a wordy, educated person, she loses me in her word salads too! Glad to hear someone else had trouble translating that last part, lol.

  8. Bridget says:

    Ashley has always been big on word salad. And this is when I admit to not being a fan at all. It’s great that she spoke up, but I’m not clamoring to see her onscreen anymore. There are other women who I’d far rather see more (Mira Sorvino for an example).

  9. Luanne says:

    I hope she gets work too.