James Van Der Beek has revealed his own experience of sexual harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
The 40-year-old actor made his acting debut when he was just 16, appearing in an off-Broadway production of Edward Albee's Finding The Sun. His career-making role, however, came when he landed the lead in teen TV drama Dawson's Creek, aged 21. Making a name for himself in Tinseltown at such a young age had its disadvantages though, which James opened up about in a series of tweets on Wednesday night (12Oct17).
Responding to the claims that Weinstein had sexually harassed legions of Hollywood stars over a three-decade period, James revealed his own experience with sexual harassment in the industry, writing: "I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger.
"I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome."
James had earlier taken to his Twitter page to criticise those who have slammed the women coming forward with allegations about Weinstein's behaviour.
“For anyone judging the women who stayed silent, read this for perspective. Also for anyone brushing off harassment as ‘boys being boys’…What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal," he wrote. "What he’s admitted to is unacceptable – in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out."
James isn't the only male Hollywood star to come forward with a tale of sexual harassment. American football player turned actor Terry Crews revealed earlier this week that a "high level Hollywood executive" groped him.
“This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME,” the Brooklyn Nine-Nine star said, recalling an incident that happened at a Hollywood function in 2016, when the man in question came over and "groped my privates."
“Jumping back I said What are you doing?! My wife saw everything n we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk," Terry added. “I was going to kick his a*s right then - but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear."