Sarah Jessica Parker says she was forced to report a “big movie star” for inappropriate behavior while filming Sex and the City. Parker spoke with NPR about her experience while filming the show, and how the #metoo movement has forced her to reckon with the bad behavior she has seen in the past.
Parker says that, until about six months or so ago, she had not realized how many times she had witnessed or experienced men behaving inappropriately on set. She goes on to say that she had to ignore the misconduct to do her job and remain professional.
Parker says she questioned why she was not more “courageous or more destroyed” by the incidents that happened to her or that she saw happen to others.
Parker says that, despite her roles on set, she did not always feel as powerful as the person who was behaving inappropriately around her.
“I think no matter how evolved or how modern I thought I was… I didn’t feel entirely in a position — no matter what my role was on set — I didn’t feel as powerful as the man who was behaving inappropriately, which… strikes me as just stunning to say out loud, because there were plenty of occasions where it was happening and I was in a different position and I was as powerful. I mean, I had every right to say, ‘This is inappropriate.’ I could have felt safe in going to a superior,” she says.
Still, there came a time when she could not continue to ignore the inappropriate behavior, and she was forced to act. It involved an unnamed but well-known movie star who she worked with on the set of Sex and the City.
Parker says the situation got so uncomfortable she was forced to go to her agent and report the individual. Within hours, she says, the situation improved. Her agent apparently told the star that Parker would be leaving the set and wouldn’t be returning if the behavior continued.
Parker starred as Carrie Bradshaw on the HBO show, which aired for six seasons from 1998 to 2004. After the show stopped airing, two feature-length movies were made. The show also featured Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones, Kristin Davis, who played Charlotte York and Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbes. Parker told NPR that filming the show was a positive experience for her and the other women because they all loved the characters they played.