Sudbury filmmaker says Weinstein allegations could result in industry change

A Sudbury filmmaker who worked with with Harvey Weinstein says she’s not surprised he’s been accused of rape and sexual harassment.
Heather K. Dahlstrom is a Sudbury based filmmaker. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)
A filmmaker in Sudbury says she isn't surprised by the accusations of rape and sexual harassment towards Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein. She says sexual harassment is something that happens a lot in the film industry. 9:52

A Sudbury filmmaker who worked with with Harvey Weinstein says she's not surprised he's been accused of rape and sexual harassment.

On Tuesday, the New York Times published an exposé about Weinstein. The article included statements from several actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, who allege Weinstein sexually abused them.

Heather K. Dahlstrom says she worked on Weinstein's movie Killshot in 2005. She never did meet him, but says that experience and others prompted her to start distancing herself from American productions being shot in Toronto.

"Certain male executives held a lot of power," she said. "They could basically say and do almost anything."

Dahlstrom says she's never been touched while working in the film industry, but says she has been in uncomfortable situations.

"I've been stared at, I've had comments said to me," she said.

"On one particular film that wasn't this film, I had a very high level executive tell me that he wanted to do sexual things to me."

She says she's seen both men and women harass other workers in the film business.

Why not report?

Dahlstrom says people are hesitant to report when they've experienced workplace harassment in the movie and TV business.

"Everybody knows that they're replaceable in the film industry," she said.

"I call it the culture of silence because people … need to get paid."

As for why she's speaking up now, Dahlstrom says she's seen many people quit the business after being harassed.

"I'm just sick of it," she said. "I've considering quitting the industry many times."

Weinstein has not been charged, but Dahlstrom says the conversation about the allegations against him could result in change.

"I think there's a lot of big, powerful men wearing suits in Hollywood that are very afraid right now," she said.

"I think that people are going to be getting apologies."

With files from Gabriel Rodrigues