October 20, 2018

Ellen Page Alleges Brett Ratner Subjected Her to Homophobic Comments

FILE PHOTO: Director Brett Ratner seen at the 89th Academy Awards, Oscars Vanity Fair Party in Beverly Hills, California, U.S. February 26, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

Actress Ellen Page is accusing director Brett Ratner of subjecting her to homophobic comments while on set.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Page claimed that when she was 18 years old and working attending a “meet and greet” for an upcoming film, Ratner told a woman who was 10 years older than Page, “You should f*ck her [Page] to make her realize she’s gay.”

Page went on to say in the post that she “felt violated when this happened.”

“This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea,” wrote Page. “He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic.”

Page added that Ratner made several degrading comments to the women on set and that she eventually got into an “altercation” with Ratner.

“He was pressuring me, in front of many people, to don a t-shirt with ‘Team Ratner’ on it,” wrote Page. “I said no and he insisted. I responded, ‘I am not on your team.’”

She was later “reprimanded” for how she spoke to him.

Page went on to detail how on she was sexually assaulted by someone else in the industry and how someone else made an unwanted sexual advance on her.

“My safety was not guaranteed at work,” wrote Page. “An adult authority figure for whom I worked intended to exploit me, physically.”

Page encouraged women to speak out against those who have sexually abused them.

“We’ve learned that the status quo perpetuates unfair, victimizing behavior to protect and perpetuate itself,” wrote Page. “Don’t allow this behavior to be normalized. Don’t compare wrongs or criminal acts by their degrees of severity. Don’t allow yourselves to be numb to the voices of victims coming forward. Don’t stop demanding our civil rights.”

Prior to Page’s Facebook post, Ratner had been accused by six women of sexual harassment. The Journal’s Danielle Berrin has claimed that Ratner has behaved inappropriate toward her.

Opinion: Monitor hate crimes, as promised

How much homophobia is there? And how much anti-Semitism? How many Muslims are beaten up because of who they are?

The only accurate answer today is, “We don’t know.” Organizations that combat hate and bigotry do not know how many crimes were committed with a hateful motive because such incidents are not being monitored properly.

A recent study by CEJI-A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe shows that most hate crimes watchdogs in Europe do not know how many incidents there are. They are working with anecdotal data culled from the media and the occasional phone call. Such sources, while important for their illustrative value, are neither consistent nor usually as detailed as they should be. (Full disclosure: I used to work for CEJI and helped launch this study.)

Indeed, the 56 participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, an international organization of which the United States is a founding member, promised in 2003 in Vienna to start gathering data on hate crimes, including anti-Semitic ones. Today, nearly a decade later, a meager five of those states submitted data on anti-Semitic incidents, according to the latest OSCE report. The United States was not one of them.

To be sure, this reflects the situation in America, as noted in a report by the Anti-Defamation League: “Eighty of the largest cities in the United States—all over 100,000 in population—either did not report data to the FBI in 2010 or affirmatively reported zero hate crimes to the FBI in 2010.”

This means that organizations such as the ADL do not have consistent usable data on hate crimes, including anti-Semitic ones. Consistent, comparable, year-on-year, disaggregated data can only come from law enforcement and the judiciary. As long as our police forces and our departments of justice do not comply with their own promises and commitments, we do not – cannot – know what the state of affairs is and whether the trends are up or down.

We cannot know whether America is becoming more or less tolerant—not only in attitude, but also in action – toward LGBT people, toward Muslims. We cannot know whether life is safer for Jews around the globe.

So in practice, we cannot know whether such excellent programs as CEJI’s Belieforama or the ADL’s A World of Difference Institute actually have the impact they are intended to have. Without knowing whether there is less or more anti-Semitism today than a year ago, we cannot know how worried we should be about our future—for worry we will in any case.

Just as businesses measure their success by collecting data on how many hamburgers or sneakers they have sold, by comparing this year’s data to last year’s and their sales to those of their competitors, so too should hate crimes be properly monitored. The U.S. government, with its 55 partners in the OSCE, has committed itself to doing this. We must press our governments to keep their promises.

(Gidon van Emden is a consultant in the fields of human rights, international affairs and anti-Semitism.)