Naomie Harris says ‘huge star’ groped her during audition

Bond actor recalls past #MeToo incident and contrasts lack of censure with ‘immediate’ removal on recent project

The Oscar-nominated actor Naomie Harris has said a #MeToo incident on one of her recent projects prompted the “immediate” removal of the perpetrator, as she recalled another occasion when she was groped by a “huge star” who faced no censure.

Harris, who played Moneypenny in the last three Bond films and was up for an Oscar for her role in Moonlight in 2017, declined to name either of the men allegedly responsible.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, she recalled an incident she has previously discussed in which “a huge, huge star” put his hand up her skirt during an audition.

“What was so shocking about it was the casting director was there and the director, and of course no one said anything because he was – he is – such a huge star. That was my only #MeToo incident, so I felt very lucky given how rife that behaviour was.

“Now things have definitely changed: I was on a project where there was a #MeToo incident and there was no hesitation – [the perpetrator] was immediately removed,” she said.

Harris’s comments came as Claire Foy, who starred in Netflix drama The Crown, discussed violence against women as she promoted her latest project, A Very British Scandal. She plays the Duchess of Argyll, who was shamed in the 1960s after being secretly photographed giving oral sex to a man who was not her husband. A judge in her divorce case dismissed the duchess as “a completely promiscuous woman”.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Foy said: “Sex is the one thing you can get a woman on. It is a quick way to make a woman subhuman, wrong and weird. It happens in every walk of life.”

Foy spoke forcefully about how women are often given the responsibility for their own safety, such as what to wear, or what hand signal to give if they are in danger, rather than the onus being on making men less violent.

“Hundreds of women get attacked every single day,” she said. “It makes me so angry. How you can look into making women safe and think about getting more policemen – who women don’t trust – to look after them? We don’t need looking after. We don’t. We need people to stop killing and raping us. That’s all. It’s simple. And it’s awful to say, but that’s men. It’s time to say: ‘You sort that out. What are you going to do?’”

She added: “It’s like saying that lots of dogs are killing cats, so let’s lock cats up and let dogs loose. It doesn’t make any sense. Women basically just get lumped with the emotional burden and responsibility of everything.”


Helen Pidd

The GuardianTramp

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