On this day four years ago, actor Salma Hayek wrote a personal essay accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and threatening her life.
Hayek’s damning accusations were made public in a New York Times opinion piece on December 13, 2017, titled Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too.
The allegations came after dozens of women had come forward against the Hollywood producer, leading to the demise of Weinstein and the rise of the mainstream #MeToo movement.
Hayek wrote that she too had awful stories about Weinstein, opening the door for similar claims to be heard.
“I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,” Hayek recalled Weinstein saying to her when she refused one of his alleged sexual demands.
“I had brainwashed myself into thinking that it was over and that I had survived; I hid from the responsibility to speak out with the excuse that enough people were already involved in shining a light on my monster.
“I didn’t consider my voice important, nor did I think it would make a difference.”
Following the exposure of widespread sexual-assault allegations against Weinstein in 2017, the #MeToo movement went viral as a hashtag on social media and gained worldwide recognition.
Discussion by women of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood and across society became more prominent and there was significant media coverage of high-profile terminations and jail sentences.
In 2020, Weinstein was found guilty of rape and criminal sexual acts and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Weinstein was convicted based on two women’s allegations against him.
Women’s rights and equality were also increasingly talked about as a societal issue amid the #MeToo movement, with online dictionary Merriam-Webster announcing on December 13, 2017, that feminism was the word of the year.