Helen Hunt believes stars accused of sexual misconduct should suffer from a backlash as victims struggle hard to get justice.
The 56-year-old actress, who has starred in movies alongside accused stars Woody Allen and Kevin Spacey, claims that while she understands false allegations could be career-ending, shunning the accused may be necessary until victims can get swifter justice.
“Here’s the only thing I can really contribute,” she told The Guardian. “I think a big part of the problem is that if a woman is assaulted, by the time they feel they can get the words out of their mouth, there are statute of limitation laws that say ‘too late’.
“So, while I understand the backlash of, ‘you just point a finger at me and my career’s over’, until those laws are revised, it’s going to be a giant, painful mess and it shouldn’t be only up to the women who have been victimised to metabolise that. That issue is bigger than anybody sees.”
Helen also shared that the #MeToo movement against harassment has made film sets “safer”, adding: “There’s some amount of recourse if you feel in danger or objectified. It does feel like now you could get in trouble, and thank God.”
But the star, who has tried her hand at directing later in her career, also believes more action is needed on pay parity and opportunities, so actresses can earn as much as their male co-stars.
“I’ve tried very hard to fight for pay parity,” she explains. “It’s much harder than you think. People who pay the money say: ‘Well, I want pay parity, but this man has more experience.’ To which we’re replying: ‘Yes, but what was the context? Was this woman given the same opportunities as this man?’
“It’s entirely possible he had more options than she did, so we fight for pay parity in order to take that context into account.”