Charlize Theron has said the Me Too and Time’s Up movements have led to a “re-education” for both men and women and it is “OK” if they lead to an “over-correction” in behaviour.
The Oscar-winning actress plays Fox News host Megyn Kelly in Bombshell, about the sexual harassment scandal that led to the downfall of its founder Roger Ailes.
Theron, who is a producer on the film, said she was keen to explore the nuance and grey areas that surround harassment and abuse and told the PA news agency: “It’s so strange that in this day and age we are finally talking about it.
“The world wants to deal with sexual harassment like it is this thing that happened in the past and it should be, but unfortunately it’s not.”
She added: “I think if we didn’t have access to the formats that we have now, social media, just more places for women to be heard, I don’t know if we would have had the longevity that we have had in the last two years with movements like Me Too and Time’s Up.
“I think overall it’s just a re-education for all of us, we all have to look at our behaviour and it is within those nuances that it becomes very tricky but I think if we have to over-correct for a little while, that’s OK.
“We will get to the other side of it, where we can all joke again and everything is going to be fine, but I think it’s time for women to be able to say, ‘We don’t want to work in these environments anymore’.”
She continued: “We are finally talking about the nuances and the fine strokes with that small little brush and the nuance of how messy and complicated these things are.
“They are not black and white and they really, truly live in the grey zone, and the psychological abuse that women go through every single day, week after week, month after month, those are the things that we have never really talked about and I think women are really empowered by us finally acknowledging that that is bullshit and it shouldn’t be around.
“We should be able to go to work and not be hassled or have a comment thrown at us and those things where you have to sit in a room and laugh at your boss’s jokes a little bit louder to placate.
“All of those things are finally being talked about, and the idea that what a harasser looks like and what a victim looks like is not necessarily what we have always imagined them to look like and we are finally talking about how complicated those relationships can be, and how complicated where the abuse takes place can actually be, and I think that is ultimately what will give us a real, solidified change when it comes to these issues.”
Bombshell is released in UK cinemas on January 17.