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Maureen called out sex harassment 72 years ago

November 14th, 2017 5:05 PM

By Jackie Keogh

O'Hara said she wouldn't let colleagues ‘paw' her on set

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MOVIE legend Maureen O’Hara, was calling out sexual harassment in Hollywood more than 70 years ago.

Ever since The New Yorker magazine exposed the alleged sexual misconduct of Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein last month, women have been coming forward through various mediums to speak out about sexual harassment and say ‘me too.’

Although Weinstein was fired from the independent film company he co-founded, the revelations rocked Hollywood as if they were something new.

But former Glengarriff resident, Maureen O’Hara, wasn’t afraid to go on record when, in 1945, she gave an interview to the New York correspondent with the British Mirror newspaper, saying she was ready to quit Hollywood because the sexual harassment was so bad.

The article stated that Irish filmstar O’Hara had charged Hollywood producers and directors with calling her ‘a cold potato without sex appeal’ because she refused to let them ‘paw’ her.

‘I am so upset with it that I am ready to quit Hollywood,’ the Oscar-winning actress stated. ‘It got so bad I hate to come to work in the morning.

‘I’m a helpless victim of a Hollywood whispering campaign. Because I don’t let the producer and director kiss me every morning or let them paw me, they have spread word around town that I am not a woman – that I am a cold piece of marble statuary.

‘I guess Hollywood won’t consider me as anything except a cold hunk of marble until I divorce my husband, give my baby away and get my name and photograph in all the newspapers.

‘If that’s Hollywood’s idea of being a woman I’m ready to quit now.’

Maureen’s outburst would, in today’s parlance, be termed ‘Kick Ass.’ She went on to become one of Hollywood’s most enduring female leads and a hugely popular draw in the cinema. 

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