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Why Mira Sorvino Is Using Open Letters to Combat Sexual Harassment

TCA 2018: “I have been very, very careful about thinking long and hard before I put out any statements”

Mira Sorvino published an open letter to Dylan Farrow, apologizing for working with her adoptive father, Woody Allen, on the film “Mighty Aphrodite.” And the following day she spoke out on how she chose to speak out — which is very carefully.

When asked by a reporter if her letter — published in the Huffington Post on Wednesday — was an indication of how difficult it is to talk about the issue of sexual abuse in public, Sorvino opened up about how she’s gone about opening up and why.

“I’ve written several pieces from the begging of the fall till now,” Sorvino said during a panel for her new AT&T Audience original series “Condor” at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday. “I wrote a piece for Time and then I did a piece in The Hollywood Reporter. And then I published my op-ed for Dylan Farrow. And I think it’s evolving for all of us. I’m very excited that this movement of #MeToo and #TIMESUP is taking place, not only for myself but obviously for my daughters. Because I can’t stand to think that they would have to suffer what I, and just about any other woman, has suffered at some point in her life, if not multiple times.”

Farrow thanked Sorvino for the apology on Twitter, saying, “I am overwhelmed and my gratitude to you cannot be expressed sufficiently in words. This letter is beautiful and I will carry your words with me. Your courage has been boundless and your activism an example for us all. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Sorvino went on to say she really puts a lot of time into crafting her responses.

“But I think it all requires great consideration and thought,” Sorvino said Thursday. “It’s not a snap to judgement thing. And I have been very, very careful about thinking long and hard before I put out any statements on anything. Which is why I’ve done it in the written form. But I think it’s a really wonderful, awakening time for all of us as moral human beings to say that no one should ever have to be abused in their workplace, in their home, harassed. And you know obviously sexual politics have no place in power dynamics. Our lives have to become more equitable, in every way.”

Sorvino also wants these movements, which she says she supports, to not go off track.

“But I think we do still have to stay very focused on the harassment and abuse issues, rather than sort of jettisoning them in favor of a very general women’s movement,” Sorvino said. “I think it’s wonderful to work for parity and equal pay. But we cannot leave the voices of all the victims of abuse and harassment behind as we move forward. We have to rise together.”

In a December New Yorker article, Sorvino said that she felt “iced out” after rejecting Harvey Weinstein’s advances.

“There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it,” Sorvino said.

“Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson seemed to confirm Sorvino’s suspicion in an interview with New Zealand’s Stuff, saying that Weinstein told him that Sorvino and Ashley Judd were a “nightmare” to work with.

“At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I realize that this was very likely the Miramax smear campaign in full swing,” he said. “I now suspect we were fed false information about both of these talented women — and as a direct result their names were removed from our casting list.”

Weinstein denied the accusation in a statement from his spokesperson that read, in part, “There was no indication that Mira Sorvino had any issues until Mr. Weinstein read about the complaints in the news … As recently as this year, Mira Sorvino called Mr. Weinstein and asked if her husband could be part of the SEAL television series [Six] he was producing and Mr. Weinstein cast him; when Christopher Backus received a better offer, Mr. Weinstein allowed him to amicably break his contact to pursue the opportunity.”

Last week Sorvino took to Twitter to heap praise on her dad, “Goodfellas” actor Paul Sorvino, after the elder Sorvino threatened to kill scandal-plagued producer Harvey Weinstein in a video published by TMZ.

“He’s gonna go to jail. Oh, yeah. That son of a bitch,” the older Sorvino said. “Good for him that he goes, because if not, he has to meet me, and I will kill the motherf-er. Real simple.”

“My love for my father has only continued to grow since this moment. All the love in my heart!” the actress tweeted in response. “He is the most loving father, the most brilliant actor, the most beautiful operatic tenor, the most talented visual artist- the wisest and most human advice giver, & best Grandpa ever!!”