This weekend, Thandie Newton gave a candid interview regarding Hollywood’s current #TimesUp initiative, saying she was excluded from participating due to not being a “hot” or “mainstream” actress. (Newton was sexually abused by a casting director as a teenager, and has since been an outspoken advocate for the industry’s exploitative nature against women.) “I wasn’t going to be at the Oscars this year,” she said, “even though I am having a renaissance in my career.” Asia Argento, one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of rape last year, soon got wind of Newton’s remarks, tweeting that this is proof #TimesUp is nothing more than an exclusive club “for Hollywood elites that shuns survivors.”
Now, enter in a third party: Prominent #TimesUp supporter Jessica Chastain. Chastain tweeted that Argento was indeed invited to the initiative’s first meeting, but she didn’t attend because she was out of town. “It wasn’t called #TimesUp [because] we didn’t have a name. It was just a group of actresses coming together to see how we could support the brave women coming forward and create lasting change,” Chastain tweeted. “I have felt so bad that some feel excluded. I was never asked to join anything, I just came forward to see how I could be of service. No one is unwelcome. The more women that come together, standing shoulder to shoulder, the stronger we are.”
She added that Argento is one of the “brave” women to thank for birthing #TimesUp in the first place.
Argento has yet to respond to Chastain’s remarks. #TimesUp has raised more than $20 million and has helped over than a thousand victims of workplace misconduct since launching in January.