“Dawson’s Creek” actor James Van Der Beek revealed on Twitter early Thursday that he’d been groped by an executive in a position of power in the past.
The actor’s revelation comes in the midst of a sexual misconduct scandal involving top Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Dozens of women have come forward detailing accounts of being inappropriately touched, raped or harassed by the exec since The New York Times reported he had paid off eight harassment settlements in the past three decades last week.
Van Der Beek sent out a series of tweets explaining that he too had been harassed by older men in Hollywood.
“For anyone judging the women who stayed silent, read this for perspective. Also for anyone brushing off harassment as ‘boys being boys,’ ” he wrote, sharing a link to an Oct. 10 first-person harassment account written by The Cut writer Liz Meriwether.
Van Der Beek expressed that he understood why so many of Weinstein’s accusers have been reluctant to step forward and share their stories until this point, including A-list actresses Rose McGowan (“Charmed”), Gwyneth Paltrow (“Emma”), Angelina Jolie (“Maleficent”), Cara Delevinge (“Tulip Fever”), among others.
Explaining that being a victim of rape and/or sexual harassment comes with a feeling of shame, powerlessness and an “inability to blow the whistle,” the actor went on to share his own story.
“What Weinstein is being accused of is criminal. What he’s admitted to is unacceptable - in any industry. I applaud everybody speaking out,” he wrote. “I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger.”
Van Der Beek, now 40, starred in the leading role of Dawson Leery in the drama series “Dawson’s Creek” from 1998 to 2003. He was 20 years old at the time of the pilot’s launch. It’s unclear if the incident was connected to the role, or who the execs were.
He did, however, clarify that two of the men were charged, though not from complaints filed by him, and a third had died.
On Tuesday, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Terry Crews, 49, also spoke out about experiencing harassment in the industry.
“This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME,” he wrote. “My wife n I were at a Hollywood function last year n a high-level Hollywood executive came over 2 me and groped my privates … Jumping back I said What are you doing?! My wife saw everything n we looked at him like he was crazy. He just grinned like a jerk.”
Crews, without identifying the aggressor, said he received a call the next day with an apology but decided not to report the incident because he didn’t want to be “ostracized.”