#MeToo ‘made a big difference’, says Sigourney Weaver

The #MeToo movement “made a big difference” since women now feel more empowered to say no to unwanted sexual advanced, US actor Sigourney Weaver said on Friday in Spain.

“We knew the Me Too movement wasn’t going to change things overnight,” she told journalists in the northwestern city of Valladolid.

“It’s a problem that women have in every field,” the 74-year-old star of the Aliens film franchise added.

“I think it has made a big difference to how women feel and how empowered we feel to say no, to say stop.”

Weaver, a three-time Oscar nominee, will be honoured on Saturday night with a lifetime achievement award at Spain’s Goya film awards. Director Pedro Almodovar and actor Penelope Cruz will present several awards at the ceremony.

But it comes a fortnight after three women told El Pais newspaper they had suffered sexual violence at the hands of independent Spanish filmmaker Carlos Vermut.

All asked to remain anonymous, and none has filed a police complaint for fear of the effect on their careers. Interviewed by the newspaper, the filmmaker denied the allegations.

“I’m very sorry to hear about this case, and my heart goes out to the women,” said Weaver.

“It is women who speak up about this situation and abuses, that are making it safer for all women to work in this industry,” Weaver said.

The global #MeToo movement took off in 2017, prompted by accusations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Women around the world took to social media to disclose sexual harassment and assault across workplaces, governments and campuses.

That sparked investigations and legal processes that helped topple several high-profile men from positions of power.