Although Hollywood’s casting-couch problem has made ongoing national/international headlines in the past few months following the sexual misconduct allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (which opened the floodgates against many other luminaries in show business and elsewhere), a quid pro quo scenario has existed for a long time.
That is the contention of acting legend Sir Ian McKellen, who responded to a question regarding the sexual harassment controversy at the Oxford Union earlier this month.
McKellen, 78, emphasized that taking advantage of a power relationship is reprehensible in any workplace or environment, not just in the entertainment industry, and that offenders must be called out and sexual harassment must be eradicated. The British actor insisted that the recent revelations from victims are a force for good, even though some individuals might be wrongly accused along the way.
The Lord of The Rings star, claimed, however, that nearly 60 years ago, actresses used a special code or shorthand to indicate their willingness to exchange intimate relations for an acting role, Entertainment Weekly reported.
“When I was starting acting in the early 1960s, the director of the theater I was working at showed me some photographs he got from women who were wanting jobs…Some of them had… at the bottom of their photograph ‘DRR’ — directors’ rights respected. In other words, ‘if you give me a job, you can have sex with me.’ That was commonplace from people who proposed that they should be a victim. Madness. DRR — director’s rights respected. People have taken advantage of that and encouraged it, and it absolutely will not do.”
Ian McKellen also discussed the accusations that have emerged about Kevin Spacey, the former House of Cards star, Deadline Hollywood explained.
“As an openly gay man, McKellen also addressed the allegations surrounding Kevin Spacey, who he worked with in 2004 while he was the artistic director at the Old Vic in London saying that the way he chose to come out was ‘reprehensible because it linked alleged underage sex with a declaration of sexuality.’”
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Ian McKellen has expressed interest in reprising his LOTR role as the wizard Gandalf in the planned TV series prequel from Amazon.
McKellen, who has 122 acting credits on his resume according to IMDb, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991. Aside from playing Gandalf, McKellen is also well-known for portraying Magneto in the X-Men franchise.
Watch Sir Ian McKellen talk about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry in the video below and draw your own conclusions. The discussion starts at about the 40-minute mark.