Thandie Newton is a force to be reckoned with on screen, and now she’s having her day of reckoning with Hollywood.
Apparently, the 47-year-old has been waiting for the right moment to share her sometimes-harrowing experiences amongst Hollywood’s elite … and it appears that time is now.
The West World star not only addressed incidents of sexual assault, Hollywood toxicity and systemic racism during a recent interview with Vulture but she also named names.
One of those was former Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal. According to Newton it was because of a racially charged conversation with Pascal that caused her to turn down a role in Charlie’s Angels.
During a meeting, Pascal allegedly said to Newton,“Look, I don’t mean to be politically incorrect, but the character as written and you playing the role, I just feel like we’ve got to make sure that it’s believable.” When Newton asked what she meant by that, Pascal said, “Well, you know, the character, as written, she’s been to university and is educated.” When Thandie reminded Pascal that she herself was educated and had been to Cambridge, the studio head apparently went on to list a number of racially-driven stereotypes to “make her more convincing as a Black character.”
“Let’s face it,” said Newton. “I didn’t do the movie as a result.” After Thandie turned it down, the role ultimately went to Lucy Liu.
In a statement quoted by Vulture, Pascal said she was “horrified” to hear that’s how Newton recalled their meeting and had no “recollection of the events she describes.”
Newton who started acting at 16, also broke down during the interview talking about roles she regrets like playing Sally Hemings in Jefferson In Paris. She also spoke about moving past the trauma of being sexually abused when she was 19 by director John Duigan. According to Newton Hollywood and the media were very unsympathetic and did not believe her story. So much so they’d labeled it an affair.
“It’s like re-abuse,” she explained. “I think the reason I talked about it a lot, too, is I’m trying to find someone who understands. I’m looking for help. It’s so fucking obvious to me. What is the point if we don’t expose what needs to be exposed?”
Newton told Vulture’s Alex Jung that as outspoken as she has been throughout her career, “there are still stories she’s been holding off on telling.”
“There’s the disgusting thing that happened with the casting couch. Just this grossness. I’ve got my little black book, which will be published on my deathbed,” she said.
“I’m not doing it when I’m alive,” she added. “I don’t want to deal with all the fallout and everyone getting their side of the story. There is no side of the story when you’re sexually abused. You give that up.”