Margot Robbie ‘didn’t know what sexual harassment was’ before Bombshell, says ‘the situation isn’t black and white’


Margot Robbie has opened up about her decision to work on Bombshell, the 2019 film that revolved around women who face sexual harassment at their workplace, and how it left her “horrified” to know so little about the topic. (Also read: Me Too: After Harvey Weinstein fall, stories of sexual assault and harassment flood social media)

“I realized that I — as a person with an established position in the industry, financially set up and self-sufficient — I didn’t know the definition of sexual harassment, and that’s shocking,” said the actor who attended the BAFTA Life in Pictures talk celebrating her career where she spoke about her career and experience in the industry.

The 32-year old actress earned an Academy Award nomination for playing Kayla Pospisil in Bombshell, which was based on the accounts of the women working at Fox News who expose CEO Roger Ailes for alleged sexual harassment. Margot added that she was “horrified” about how little she knew about the topic of sexual harassment before doing the film, adding how these behaviours “flourishes in the grey area.” She added, “The situation isn’t black and white.”

Margot admitted that she signed on the film to understand more about the blind spots when it came to sexual harassment at the workplace. “One of the lines that shocked me when I first read the script was that sexual harassment includes any unwelcome sexual advances.” said the actor. “I always thought it required physical contact for it to be considered illegal or wrong.” The actor discussed the character of Kayla who was the only fictional creation in the film alongside names like Megyn Kelly (played by Charlize Theron) and Gretchen Carlson (played by Nicole Kidman). “The second I could stop being Kayla, I did,” the actor said. “It was definitely something I wanted to tap out of at the end.”

In the discussion, Margot also talked about the fact that she has worked with only one female director in her career so far, with Josie Rourke for Mary, Queen of Scots. The actor said that she does not see any difference between men and women as directors, and “couldn’t put it down to gender.”

Margot Robbie is currently in London as part of the press tour for promoting her new film Babylon directed by Damien Chazelle, which is slated for release at the end of the year. She also has Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie.

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