Saturday, November 25, 2017

My Response to Oliver Stone's Rebuttal and a Call To Arms

So Oliver Stone and Risa Baron Garcia have tried to brush off my sexual harassment allegation by saying that I knew the movie was raunchy and that the workspace was safe and that Risa was in the auditions. 

They are saying basically, that I knew what I was getting into and therefore should keep my mouth shut.

Well, I am not going to because they are lying. 

I went into that audition knowing exactly how raunchy that film was going to be. How explicit. That film was going to be the epitome of sex drugs and rock and roll. It was, after all, the story of Jim Morrison for goodness sake. I knew that so well, I even read a contraband early version of the script because at that time, I was dating a man named Danny Sugerman, who was serving as an unofficial technical advisor as he managed the Doors. The scene I was asked to read in my audition was not in that script. Nor was it in the sides I was given.

I was the last woman to audition that day. I read the scenes for Stone in his office with Risa. Then Stone asked me to stay and read with an actor. He said it was a chemistry read. He told Risa to go home and she left. 

As an actor, these developments are very exciting. It means one is that much closer to possibly getting the role. I was thrilled. I really wanted the part.

After Risa left, Stone told me he’d written a new scene and wanted me to read it. He handed me the pages. *It was more than raunchy.
The scene, which is not in the movie involved a fight between Jim and his girlfriend Pamela. It escalated into violence and ended with her on her hands and knees begging Jim to “Fuck me in the ass it!....fuck me in the ass!...please baby, please fuck me in the ass!”

After I read the scene I expressed my nervousness at being unprepared and about the material being so intense. Stone thanked me for being honest and said everything would be ok. Then he said ,”Whenever you’re ready.” I said I was and then he told me he didn’t want me to just read it, he wanted me to stage it for him. In other words, he wanted me to act it out physically on my hands and knees in his office. 

I panicked and began to cry. He said it was ok to cry, that it would make the scene better and told me to get down on my hands and knees and do the scene.

I didn’t. I ran out of the room. 

I have since, mostly let it go, mentioning it only to close friends and to my husband, but after all these horrible stories have been surfacing during the last few weeks it has been brewing beneath the surface. All the feelings of humiliation and disrespect came flooding back. Yet, I still wasn’t going to tell my story. I asked a couple of journalists if anyone was talking about him. One said yes and that he’d heard several stories.

So once agin, I felt, like I did with Harvey Weinstein, that everyone knew. Everyone knew but those in power to stop him chose to look the other way.

Since sharing my story, I have been contacted by many women who have had similar experiences with Stone. A female producer reached out to me through and intermediary to let me know she was so sorry and she knew that Stone had been making women do that scene in his office long after he had decided to hire Meg Ryan. A friend of mine was one of those women.

Men like Stone and his kind lord their power over people they consider less than worthy of their respect and I’m sorry Risa Bramon Garcia, that includes you. If we, as women cannot stand up together against this kind of abuse and disrespect, then nothing will change. 

So now what do we do with all of this? We are at a tipping point. If we only clean house but not secure it from more predators then nothing will change. We must change the culture that allows the abuse to happen. And in so doing, change the way women are treated not only in Hollywood but in all work places. 

We need to create clear boundaries of what is and isn’t consent. We need to change the laws to protect the victims and not the perpetrators. We need to create safe places where abused women and men can come tell their stories without fear of backlash and where they can get help and justice. And we need to do it now, so that in five or ten years, we aren’t hearing that another executive has abused, intimidated and terrified more women.

It is sad but true, that we live in a culture where the man the nation elected as President said “When you are famous, you can do anything you want” with regards to sexually assaulting women. We need to make sure that this will no longer stand. We, as a society, will no longer accept it.

The only way this will happen is if we create the real change that is needed to combat this scourge. Penultimately this will o happen when women are considered equal to men. That means equal representation — in board rooms, city councils, union leadership positions, governorships, state and national senates, congress, and cabinets far and wide. That means equal pay for equal work regardless of whether that work is blue collar or white collar.

Since the primary focus seems to be on the entertainment industry, I think it is up to us to take the lead on defining once and for all, laws and regulations that truly protect women in the workplace. A place where women can be treated with respect, deference and equality.

Imagine that? A world where, with apologies to Thomas Jefferson, “All men ‘and women’ are created equal.” I’m pretty sure that’s what he had in mind when he wrote that. At least I hope so...


  1. Agreed! Let's make it happen! Much love and respect, Amy Buttons ��

  2. You are believed!

    To those who stand by and do nothing - Remember if you are aware of abusive behaviour and do not speak out against it, your silence communicates implicitly that you see nothing unacceptable taking place.

  3. I am so sorry this happened to you, and to the others. The people who looked the other way were worried about their jobs AND allowed so many to be victimized. Both are true. Only when we have each orhers’ backs does this change. We can all use whatever power we have — as you are using your voice and profile now — to stand up for each other. Just just based on gender but on all identities we hold or are labeled with. Thank you for writing this and speaking out v

  4. So sorry this happened to you Melissa. You are a strong woman who many women look up to please don't stop telling your story it is important!! Much love

  5. I'm so so Proud of You Melissa!!! I know it can be tough and scary to stand up against these creeps. But you have thousands standing behind you and at your side! Stay strong Sister!

    I've said for years, We need a "New Hollywood" where everyone is respected and treated fairly. Most of old Hollywood is gone. It's heartbreaking anyone had to feel they had to put up and shut up or else. I'm glad women especially are finally speaking up. If you knew me then ...

    And here's the thing about Stone - The fact that he was wanting to put the raunchy parts in the movie says a lot about him. A story can be told in so many other ways. And he could have had other scenes chosen for auditions. Good For You running out on him, eww, he makes me sick!

    You should of used that against him. Why not pick a scene where it shows your power or your emotion or ability to cry on cue?

    I have a pretty clean cut indie film I'm trying to produce - casting is about done. Because of all this nasty behavior by these creeps, and being inspired by you, I'm making sure that there is a "No Sexual Harassment" policy in my welcome to the set packet. I won't tolerate it!

    I know of some casting directors using Skype, I'm one. So a person can be comfortable , not be in line for hours and drained from the wait, etc. (as you know). I encourage those auditioning to be refreshed and chose their own monologue , unless I'm looking for something in particular, then they get a side. Bravo Bravo Bravo to You Melissa! Hugs to You and Your husband from all us that admire and love you!

  6. Where do men get off disrespecting and belittling women putting them in positions such as this. This was nothing more than a porn film. Good for you for walking out and not fulfilling his sick fantasy !! You were a wonderful public example for our daughters to follow!! Thank you for that!!

  7. so much, so many. yes ms gilbert it is everywhere. I am 67 now and when I was 26 i was harassed by the owner of a local pharmacy. I never went back to work there and never did anything about it. but so many young women are not as lucky or able to get out in time. today is the day to stand up and take action against anyone with any kind of power that crosses that line. I wonder of all the young girls who came after me. it is happening everywhere. all young ladies are at some point in their young lives are in danger of this despicable harassment, rape.

  8. Hi Melissa. Whilst I've always admired you and have loved you since the beginning of your career, I do not understand what made you go to that creeps hotel/home to audition for him and also what made you want to be that character since you knew before hand about how raunchy the story line was. I used to be an extra and was on as an extra in a few films as well as TV and I was abused, not sexually but abused by producers who gave us false promises. We worked many long hours not getting paid most of the time and when we were promised dinner, we sometimes got pizza if we were lucky. Not sexual abuse but abuse in other ways. Thanks for coming out expressing your discontent/anger against that creep but you as an actress walk a fine line between what is acceptable and what isn't, pick parts that are more in line with what you would like for a character.

    1. Did you even read what she wrote about? She said she read the whole script, so she DID know all about the role. At the AUDITION, he gave her material that was NOT in the script she had read. Also, she did NOT say this took place at his home or a hotel room! She said this took place in his office! AND, he told the only other person in the room to go home, AFTER she read the sides (that were NOT in the original script). She was left alone and totally vulnerable. And she was suddenly, and without warning, told to crawl on her hands and knees to beg someone to fuck her in the ass!!! Do you GET it NOW?!! Thank goodness she ran from the room instead of "auditioning" for that scene. It was a TOTALLY HUMILIATING experience for her!! It would have been humiliating for ANY actress to audition that way----ESPECIALLY with ONLY a man----Oliver Stone----in the room!!!

      Please READ what you are commenting about BEFORE you comment. Thank you!

    2. I saw the clip on the YouTube Megan Kelly show of you telling this story. Such a humiliating experience that makes you feel dirty even though the bottom feeding scum is the dirty one. I had a similar experience with a doctor. I was stripped under a gown completely and he decided to check the flexibility of my hips from the end of the table. Being spread eagle like that in front of an internal medicine doctor - it felt wrong. Dirty. Embarrassing. All those feelings I aimed at myself. Not at the doctor looking at my twat when I was there for a flu shot! We give men with powerful titles way too trust. They don’t even have to earn it. They just need a title. Director. Producer. Doctor. Trainer. Even Priest or Dad.

      We have to stop giving them power over us. But more important we need to teach our
      Kids (boys too) to trust their instinct and don’t be afraid to start screaming when somebody is doing something they think is wrong. Just like we tell our teens we will never get mad at them if they call us for a ride if they are too drunk or stoned to drive, teach our kids to scream if someone is doing bad things. Even if that person says it’s ok and it is their secret. How far would Larry Nassar have gotten if those girls had been taught to scream out? Especially when the mom was right there. “Mom, Dr Larry has his fingers
      Inside me. Didn’t I come here for ankle injury? This doesn’t feel right’.

      All rapists and abusers like you encountered with Oliver Stone should be punished. They won’t be. But we need the next generation to stop it. You did great by running out of his office, Melissa. Not many could be that strong. I like to believe that you learned from “Pa” on Little House the self respect because
      You kids were respected. Michael Landon was a very proud Angel that day you walk out on Powerhouse
      Oliver Stone.

  9. I am so very proud of u! If I had been there and knew about his treatment of women, I would have raised my walking cane and hit him until he begged for your forgiveness. I am just a elderly lady in SC. I have watch your work for many years and love u as if u r my little lady. We r truly outraged but very very proud of u for speaking out. Southern Bells have suffer this for many years and trust me we have all lost many jobs. But I never in a million yr though it would happen to u! So thank u for coming out I will continue to pray for u. God gave u a precious gift as a actress and a woman with very high morals. When things happen to us it just prepares us to be stronger and that’s what u r a Strong Straight talking woman. Continue on and do not let anyone ever shut u up. Again I and my Church family love and respect u highly. I just wish u didn’t have to go thru it but God is with u always. He will definitely take care of this evil man.

  10. I just watched you on Megyn Kelly this morning and want to thank you for speaking out. You have always conducted yourself in a way that commands respect and as ignorant people try to discredit women who are speaking up, your words are believable. It has happened to so many of us and we were silent, afraid of not being believed or of being ridiculed. Thank you.

  11. I too just saw you speak on Megyn Kelly and immediately came to your blog. I too experienced similar things as a young singer and actress. I left the business because I didn't feel that I could compromise my integrity to the point of humiliation and abuse to pursue my dream. Thank you so much for speaking out.. I am ready to do whatever needs to be done to impliment change, the first of which will be teaching my son that women are your EQUAL. I kept my mouth shut for 25 years, but I'm gonna scream from the highest mountain to make sure my voice is now heard. Let's get to work!

  12. Would like to know who the actor in the room was...and hope he would come forward to defend Melissa.

    1. Yes, Jyhn, I totally missed that part until you mentioned it. Who is the guy? And yes, I agree with you, he needs to speak up.

  13. Melissa, you totally rocked on MK today .. and you look so amazing! How is it you get better with age?

    So Oliver stone .. another douche!?!! When I think back to my youth, every boss I had started “a thing” with me (I thought it was love) but now see it was total sex harass. And even though I was uncomfortable, I didnt say “no” because I didn’t want to hurt THEIR feelings!!! Ridiculous!! Someone needs to teach our young girls how VALUABLE they are. And how to “recognize” these pervs, and stand up and protect themselves. I wish someone would have taught me. Maybe you could write a book that would teach our young girls .. with your wit and sense of humor, it would be brilliant! And girls would listen to “Laura Ingalls”. Thank you for all the years of Little House for me, my daughter, and now my grand babies! You’re a blessing!
    Jan Kapple Klein

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Thank-you Melissa for giving your story & yet another voice to this movement! I'm sorry you had to experience a power-hungry man's abuse and sorrier yet that the woman in the room (NOT) is STILL covering for him! These men seem to keep their hold on women for numerous reasons and it's horribly sad for me to hear that it continues even after all the stories have come out...we can only hope she'll come around soon...the power he holds over her is likely pretty great!

    I agree that we need to have these sort of safe places as once one speaks up and owns the #metoo that's only the beginning. Many cannot afford private counseling (I am a former counselor & know how expensive it can be having retired my practice after 13 years of giving my services away only to have financial issues of my own because of it) anyway...I had some ideas of doing some online educational stuff...and possibly creating a group for well had thought of the power of the AA 12-Step support groups...their powerful as there's No Fees...and it's peer support...but of course if I could get some assistance with some of these ideas that would be can find me on FB anytime Cate Saxton... I'd like to get something moving quickly as our pains & our souls aren't going to wait!
    So...Thanks Again...and I hope to hear from someone soon...meantime I'll start creating some sort of trainings...maybe meditations to help with easing some of the painful memories for women...there's so many things we can do to help...
    Good Luck with your Show!
    Namaste...Cate Saxton

  16. I once went on a few dates with a guy who, after I told him about an inappropriate advance by a friend's father, "ugh, why does every chick have a sexual molestation or harassment story?" He said that in a very dismissive and annoyed tone. I was horrified! If every woman he encountered had a "story" then what does this say about our culture? Why was he annoyed rather than worried for the women in his life? I have thought about that statement often over the 20 years since, and my heart hurts that our society puts blame on victims of abuse. I'm blessed to know many men who are kind and gentle spirits and I wish those men were the types of men portrayed in leading roles. I appreciated that about the Pa character in LHOTP. Thank you for your story, Melissa. I'm glad you walked out of that room and followed your gut that it was wrong.

  17. Melissa Gilbert. Wow! Who knew I liked you so much? An actress... and ME? Having stuff in common?!

    It's very cool. You write so well. I like to write too, and we explain things in similar ways....

    I just watched a YouTube video of you on Megan Kelly's show... I am glad I found your blog. (The breastfeeding experience is another wonderful thing we have in common!)....

    But this! Thank you so much for sharing your experience about Stone. What an Ass he is!

    Unfortunately, we also have that kind of bullshit in common too.

    I can feel it when a man is crossing the line.... and it feels chilling... and has, at times, rendered me speechless and feeling defenseless and even guilty. A little playful joking, for example, escalates QUICKLY into something dangerous. What the hell happens in a guy's mind that he has to move you from funny co-worker over to the sexual challenge of the year? All of a sudden you are feeling like you owe a guy something because you shared an adult joke or whatever! Like it's our fault he has it within him to proceed to do awful things!

    And where do WE get that mindset that we were doomed right out the gate when we said something that triggered him?

    It doesn't matter, we are all learning about it now, because sexual harassment is being discussed. There's a big push now, and I AGREE with you, Melissa, when you say we need to now do something with this information and knowledge, like discussing the boundaries to go by.

    I just posted one of your quotes from this blog to my fb.

    I have respect for you, your honesty, your trustworthiness. I would say you speak a bit too carefully though! Come on, let it go! I'm not going to tip-toe anymore. And that gal who left your audition is wrong to defend Stone, but yes, she is being a puppet for Stone. My guess is that she wants to be accepted into his circle so much that she is willing to distort her own mind about what happened to you and the others.

    If women continue to be like her, it's going to take longer for us to set these guys straight. Now is a great time to join arms as women and put a stop to sexual harassment at work. When we are being weak, other women can remind us to be strong! We KNOW when a line has been crossed. Women need to be taught on what their go-to response will be in order to squelch it.

    We need to be secure in ourselves for the first time so that we don't feel we need that job so bad that we are willing to give up our self respect. What are some canned i responses we can think of?

    I mean I've only been at a job for 2 weeks and I'm already seeing signs that the vp is approaching the boundary! I am going to practice my responses now, because I will probably have to use them with this guy!

    Thank you girl! I find you refreshing!

  18. I believe you 100%. I do want to know why you never spoke out until now. I was sexually harassed and assaulted in the military. I shut it down. I spoke up. What made you feel you couldn't? Not hating, total support. Just want to understand more.

    1. Melissa is HorsCategory. That means, she doesn't answer ordinary people's questions. She is there only for Oprah or Mygan Kelly. I am sorry.

  19. I believe you 100% Melissa and I'm so sorry it happened to you. God bless you for using your strong voice go speak out against this!!

  20. I believe you 100% Melissa and I'm so sorry it happened to you. God bless you for using your strong voice go speak out against this!!

  21. Melissa- I read your autobiography years ago, and you brag about all the men you slept with. She also brag that BEFORE you auctioned for Stone you had a run-in with him at a Club, and YOU called him an was hole! So you expect Stone to now hire you? And sorry, but you were totally wrong for the part. And Stone handed you extra pages, that supposedly other women were also given in his office. Why cry and run out? Why not just say, "not doing this" and leave? It's weak- just as you stayed with Rob Lowe who cheated on you for years, and your first husband Bo who cheated too. It's not strong Melissa. It's weak, and weak to jump from man-to-man since age 17.

    1. Thank you for your bravery Melissa. It is never an easy thing to talk about something like sexual harrassment or sexual misconduct. It is up to us to make sure women know how to protect themselves in those moments of sexual harrassment.

    2. My own experience of zexual harrassment was with my high school art teacher! Now that I am a mother I am so shocked how he talked to me, leered at me, and even tried to get me to sit on his lap during lunch time when I was alone with him in his classroom. Some Men in authority know just how to prey on women. Disgusting!

  22. You didn't need that movie. Your too good of an actress to be degraded like that. He was a pig!

  23. Stone and maggots like him are not real men. Those critisizing Me Too need to hear your story especially the part where it was done after Ryan was hired. And like a Coward he hides behind a woman and the guise of art. Sorry mr maggot the teflon has a scratch on it. We see through and now the eggs will stick. I cant wait for a great movie to be made about this. Stone cast as Lead Vomitous Maggot. These maggots must be brought down and held accountable so they do not hold absolute power which corrupts absolutely.

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  27. I miss your “musings” in your blogs and wish you would post again. I am sadly aware of how widespread this issue really is. I can remember - while being an executive, wearing a full on jacketed paint suite (tahari I believe) I was told my company would get the job if “I got up on the conference table and danced for him”. I told him this was a package left wrapped and walked out.

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