TV & Radio

Bel Powley says she was ‘touched inappropriately’ by senior crew member but was ‘too scared to say anything’

British actor Bel Powley has opened up about being “touched inappropriately” by a senior crew member.

In a new interview with The Independent, which will be published on Saturday (6 May), the star of The Morning Show and Everything I Know About Love talked about her experiences as a woman in the film and TV industry.

“I’ve had someone grab my arse and basically touch me inappropriately before…” she said. “I was too scared to say anything. I was too scared to rock the boat.”

The incident, which involved a senior member of the crew of the project she was on, happened when Powley was in her early twenties.

“I just avoided that person and it was fine, but what really has changed post-MeToo is you just know that you’re protected,” she said.

“At the beginning of MeToo it was weird. For a while it was like, I feel protected because men are just f***ing scared, which was fine too, but now everything’s settled into itself. People have learned and it’s like there’s a new code of conduct.”

The actor also reflected on how positive her experiences were of filming intimacy scenes on the 2015 movie The Diary of a Teenage Girl, compared to other indies. “I did have a couple of bad ones where everyone’s too awkward to ask if you’re gonna take your clothes off, and you don’t have it written up properly in the contract,” she said.

“It’s low-budget, indie, guerilla-style filming. You’re outside and suddenly it’s the scene where you have to get naked and simulate sex, and then you just find yourself doing it because you’re too scared to say no, with a young actor who probably felt just as uncomfortable.”

Elsewhere in the interview, out tomorrow, Powley discussed the world’s obsession with the female form, Botox, nepotism and her new show A Small Light, in which she plays Miep Gies, the woman who hid Anne Frank from the Nazis.

The drama is streaming now on Disney+.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, you can contact your nearest Rape Crisis organisation for specialist, independent and confidential support. For more information, visit their website here.

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