Responses to the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal have materialized in a torrent of social media posts since the news broke, eliciting gestures of solidarity from women and men alike. In particular, figures in the entertainment industry have been the most vocal – including Icelandic music icon Björk.
The “Hidden Place” songstress, whose full name is Björk Guðmundsdóttir, spoke out about how an unnamed Danish director had allegedly behaved inappropriately towards her as thousands of other posts containing the phrase “Me too” (sometimes hashtagged as “#MeToo”) swept over cyberspace. “It was extremely clear to me when I walked into the actresses profession that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director and a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I became aware that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it.”
Guðmundsdóttir went on to explain how the director ostracized her for rejecting his advances, writing that it took her a year to recover from the incident.
Although Guðmundsdóttir did not specifically identify the director, her limited activity in the film sphere enabled her online following to narrow it down to Lars Von Trier, who worked with her on the movie Dancer in the Dark. Von Trier refuted the claims while speaking with Danish publication Jyllands-Posten, saying, “That was not the case. But that we were definitely not friends, that’s a fact.”
Von Trier’s longtime collaborator, Peter Aalbaek Jensen, defended him in comments cited in the same article. “As far as I remember we were the victims,” he said.
The online outpouring has stemmed from at least three dozen women coming forward with testimonies alleging instances of sexual harassment and assault on the part of Weinstein. The highly influential producer’s deviant behavior is now understood to have been largely overlooked by prominent figures in Hollywood, although he has been expelled from the Academy Of Motion Pictures Arts And Sciences in addition to being ousted from The Weinstein Company, which he founded in 2005.
Björk has not made any further comments at this time.