Over 600 Swedish actresses, including Alicia Vikander, speak out against sexual abuse in film

Over 600 Swedish actresses have put together a letter calling out the Swedish industry for failing to protect women from sexual abuse and for profiting from the work of known abusers, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

The letter is inspired by the #metoo movement that sprung up in response to sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Among those who signed the letter is Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander [+]. Sofia Helin [+], star of the Nordic Noir series The Bridge, also signed the letter.

“Directors, you have failed. Producers, you have failed. Production companies, you have failed. Theatre managers, you have failed. Politicians, you have failed,” it reads. “It is your responsibility to ensure that nobody is sexually abused at the workplace.”

Asserting “zero tolerance against sexual exploitation and violence” the signatories demand that employers, from film companies and theatres to book publishers and Swedish television networks, “stop protecting, hiring and making money on perpetrators” of sexual violence.

The letter was published in Svenska Dagbladet, with numerous anonymous first-person accounts of specific incidents of abuse.

“In one film I acted alongside one of the most prominent film actors, both in Sweden and abroad,” reads one testimony. “At a party he followed me into a hotel room, pushed me hard onto the floor, threw himself over me, held me tight and laughed with a dark look in his eyes. The thought ‘he is going to rape me’ ran through my head, but somehow I managed to get him off of me and ran.”

Emma Vestrheim

Emma Vestrheim is the editor-in-chief of Cinema Scandinavia. Originally from Australia, she is now based in Bergen, Norway, and attends major Nordic film festivals to conduct interviews and review new films.