In a public post on social media, Icelandic musician Björk has come forward with an experience of sexual harassment by Danish film director Lars von Trier. Here is her statement in full:
i am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a danish director . because i come from a country that is one of the worlds place closest to equality between the sexes and at the time i came from position of strength in the music world with hard earned independence , it was extremely clear to me when i walked into the actresses profession that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director and a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it . i became aware of that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it . when i turned the director down repeatedly he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where i was framed as the difficult one . because of my strength , my great team and because i had nothing to loose having no ambitions in the acting world , i walked away from it and recovered in a years time . i am worried though that other actresses working with the same man did not . the director was fully aware of this game and i am sure of that the film he made after was based on his experiences with me . because i was the first one that stood up to him and didn’t let him get away with it
and in my opinion he had a more fair and meaningful relationship with his actresses after my confrontation so there is hope
let’s hope this statement supports the actresses and actors all over
let’s stop this
there is a wave of change in the world
Björk starred in von Trier’s film Dancer in the Dark in 2000, for which she won the Cannes and European Film Awards for Best Actress. The film was only her second venture into acting, following the Icelandic film The Juniper Tree (1990). She did not work as an actress afterward.
Catherine Deneuve acted alongside Björk in the film. In a set diary she kept throughout the filming which was later excerpted in her 2005 book Close Up and Personal, she wrote of her surprise that Björk had not backed out of the project. “I’m pretty surprised; I know, because she’s told me, that she’s suffered a lot and that Lars has constantly pushed her beyond her limits,” “Why didn’t she ever say ‘No,’ or ‘That’s enough’?”
Björk had previously stated she would not work with von Trier again due to his sexism.
According to Björk, the post was inspired by “women everywhere who are speaking up online” in the wake of revelations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women.
Von Trier has denied the truth of Björk’s statement.