Angelina Jolie addressed Hollywood’s sexual abuse scandal as she delivered a keynote speech at a United Nations (UN) conference on Wednesday (15Nov17).
The Maleficent actress, a special envoy for the UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR), made the comments as she called on authorities to crack down on sexual violence as part of her keynote address at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver, Canada.
“Sexual violence is everywhere – in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world,” she said. “All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need… But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive.”
After the sexual harassment and assault allegations about producer Harvey Weinstein were made public in October, Angelina told The New York Times that she had a “bad experience” with him too, claiming he had made unwanted advances on her in a hotel room in the late ’90s.
“As a result, (I) chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” she said in an email. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”
She joined more than 50 women who have come forward with allegations against Weinstein, who has categorically denied the claims.
The 42-year-old has been campaigning about sexual violence in conflict areas for years, even setting up the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in 2012.
In her speech, she passionately called on international conflict negotiators to take their role in preventing and punishing sexual violence more seriously and asked them to understand how it can be weaponized.
“It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective,” she said, citing the mass displacement of the Rohingya people in Myanmar.