Anna Camp on Her Experience with Sexual Harassment in Hollywood: 'Why Didn't I Just Stand Up for Myself?'
"How do I maintain that balance of not offending him, but getting my point across that I don't want to go out on a date?" Camp told PEOPLE Now
Anna Camp‘s own experiences with sexual assault and discrimination on set have inspired her to speak out to help others.
During an interview with PEOPLE Now alongside her Good Girls Revolt costars, the actress opened up about how she’s had similar experiences as her character Jane in the new Amazon drama, which is based on a true story that inspired Lynn Povich’s book by the same name.
“There’s a character named Sam … I’m his researcher, and we’re pretty equal and we’re a great team and good partners, but he always says: ‘So, what are you doing later? You want to go out later?’ ” explained Camp, 34, before admitting that she’s found herself in similarly uncomfortable situations.
“I’m happily married now, but [I have had moments] on sets where I have been shooting a scene with someone, it’s going very well, but I can tell … ‘Oh God, I think he’s going to ask … Oh God, is he going to ask me out?’ ” she said. “But I have to work with him tomorrow! And then I have to work with him for the next month. How do I maintain that balance of not offending him, but getting my point across that I don’t want to go out on a date?”
Camp says the series, which takes place in a 1960s newsroom and tracks a group of young female researchers making the revolutionary request to be allowed to write, will bring much of these issues to light.
“I think that’s something that the women who worked at [News of the Week magazine] had to do that dance all of the time,” she said.
As for how viewers might apply the themes of the show to their real lives, Camp said she hopes it will inspire young women to speak up for themselves.
“Young girls — stand up,” she said. “Stop competing with one another and come together and stand up for yourselves in the moment.”
“I’ve had times where I was sexually harassed or sexually discriminated against, and I go home and I don’t say anything in the moment and I mull over it and I can’t go to sleep and I think: ‘Why didn’t I just stand up or myself?’ ” admitted Camp. “It’s okay to stand up for yourself.”
Camp’s costar Genevieve Angelson echoed her sentiment.
“When something happens to you, the response isn’t immediate — it’s a process of recognizing that you’re uncomfortable,” said Angelson. “And I think for a lot of people because of that organic pause that happens, I have felt like I no longer have a right to address it because too much time went by.”
“I think there’s this biological moment of: ‘I’m a rabbit caught in a wolf’s jaws, my spine is going to go limp because I want to stay alive,’ ” added Angelson. “It’s okay to speak up whenever it happens. Whenever it is time for you to say something in your own defense for your own wellbeing, do it.”
Costar Joy Bryant chimed in as well, explaining that Hollywood is “just as racist and sexist as any other industry or anything in this country.”
“The same forces that influence government policy influence Hollywood, and the majority of people who run Hollywood are straight white men,” she said. “So until the patriarchy and white supremacy and all that s— is dismantled, we’re going to keep fighting these fights, no matter where you are.”
Good Girls Revolt premieres Friday on Amazon Prime.