Björk Speaks Out on Being Sexually Harassed by an Unnamed "Danish Director" | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, January 20th, 2021  

Björk Speaks Out on Being Sexually Harassed by an Unnamed “Danish Director”

"It is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it."

Oct 16, 2017
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In the wake of the accusations that Hollywood producer/media mogul Harvey Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted countless women, including many famous actresses, over the decades, more and more women have been encouraged to speak up about their own experiences being harassed or assaulted. Björk has posted to Facebook about her experiences with a "Danish director" she declined to name who harassed her when she acted in his film.

Björk hasn't done much work as a film actress, with her most notable work being the critically acclaimed 2000 film Dancer in the Dark, which she starred in and was directed by Lars Von Trier, who is Danish. Outside of her music videos, she has also worked with the female American director Nietzchka Keene, the male American director Robert Altman, the female Icelandic director Kristín Jóhannesdóttir, and on an animated short film with male Icelandic director Gunnar Karlsson.

"I am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a Danish director," Björk's post began. She then pointed out that in her native Iceland there is a strong equality between the sexes, so it was readily apparent to her that that was not the case in the film industry. "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," Björk's statement continued. "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 year's 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."

Björk does point out towards the end of the statement: "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."

Read the full statement below.

Björk is releasing a new album, Utopia, sometime in November (exact date TBA). It includes her recent single, "The Gate," which she has also shared a video for. Björk's last album, Vulnicura, came out in 2015.

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