Saskatoon-born actress says culture of sexual harassment in film and television industry needs to stop
Kendra Anderson says many actors forced into uncomfortable situations to further career
Kendra Anderson says there is a pervasive culture of sexual harassment in the film and television world and that it needs to stop.
The Saskatoon-born actress has appeared in almost two dozen film and TV projects since 2010, but stepped away from the industry several years ago.
"I realized I wasn't becoming the person I wanted to be," she told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning. "I felt like I didn't know how to be that person in this industry."
Anderson decided to come forward with her story after a flood of allegations of sexual assault came forward over the past month— implicating several Hollywood stars including producer Harvey Weinstein and comedian Louis C.K.
While she said her stories haven't been as extreme as some others, she said she often felt obliged to go along with advances that made her uncomfortable, especially if they were made by producers.
"Even though I'd already gotten the part, I felt like I was always selling myself as someone who was a really great person to work with, so that they would want to bring me in for another project," she said. "And when advances were being made, definitely allowing them."
She felt she couldn't talk about the harassment with her agent or other actors which weighed on her for years.
"I felt ashamed, sometimes, about the way I was being spoken to," she said.
With more allegations coming out on a daily basis, Anderson said it was a good opportunity for the industry to change itself.
"Now that it's coming out, there is a sense of relief," she said. "It's like, 'OK, now we can talk about this.'"
With files from Saskatoon Morning