Months after dozens of women accused Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood men of sexual misconduct, Paradigm talent agent Ellen Gilbert said that she takes responsibility to protect her clients from the sort of predatory behavior that has been recounted in the press.
“We all heard stories of what an a–hole he is, how abusive he was to his employees and throwing things… but what was shocking was how horrific it was and how many women and how criminal what he was doing,” Gilbert said at TheWrap’s BE Conference in Austin, Texas on Monday. “That was shocking but also a revelation to all of us, and because of these brave women, the time has changed and I don’t think a woman should ever right now feel bad coming forward.”
She added, “As an agent — these are my clients — I take that responsibility so strongly that I am there to protect them. I have told my clients many times, ‘If you ever feel uncomfortable, if something is not agreed upon in the contract, you call me. If it’s that bad, you just walk off set. I will cancel it.’”
“I have been called ‘pitbull,’ which I find to be a compliment, and I have no problem fighting and I will go to the mats for my clients,” she added.
Actor and writer Sarah Ann Masse, who was also on the panel about the aftermath of the Weinstein accusations, responded, “Can I just say thank you for that? Because not every agent is like that. There are a lot of agents that don’t care. They care about their cut and that’s it. They are not looking out. So thank you.”
In October, Masse chronicled her experience with Weinstein, saying that she went to his home to apply for the job as a nanny to his kids, when he welcomed her and hugged her in his underwear, telling her he loved her.
Now, five months later, Masse explained, “When I first came out with this story, every journalist said, ‘This is a Hollywood problem.’ This is not a Hollywood problem… I was terrified and alone for almost a decade. I had this story about Harvey, two months prior to that I was raped… When these stories started breaking, I realized I wasn’t alone. My fear disappeared and I felt empowered to speak. I wanted to help other women — that’s what’s been so amazing about having this amazing community of support.”
Another Weinstein accuser, actress Jessica Barth also recounted her own experience with the mogul, which she said happened in a hotel room with Weinstein promising her a role in a movie. Barth also accused her former manager, David Guillod, of drugging her at a dinner and sexually assaulting her in 2012.
“We have to support each other and have each other’s backs,” Gilbert said. “If we do that, we can do anything.”
Watch the video above.