Icelandic singer Björk has come forward with her own account of sexual harassment within the film industry, detailing on Facebook how she was subject to it at the hands of a Danish director.
“I am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a Danish director,” she said.
While she didn’t name names, Björk has only appeared in a handful of films, and only one by a Danish director: Dancer in the Dark, by Lars von Trier. It’s blatantly clear who she’s talking about.
“It was extremely clear to me when I walked into the actresses’ profession that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director and a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it.
“I became aware of that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it.
“When I turned this director down repeatedly he sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where I was framed as the difficult one.”
Around the time of the film’s 2000 release, reports surfaced of Björk and von Trier clashing on set, with the former vowing never to work with the latter again.
“Because of my strength, my great team and because I had nothing to lose having no ambitions in the acting world, I walked away from it and recovered in a year’s time. I am worried though that other actresses working with the same man did not. The director was fully aware of this game and I am sure of that the film he he made after was based on his experienced with me, because I was the first one that stood up to him and didn’t let him get away with it.”
As Rolling Stone points out, von Trier himself told GQ in 2011 that Björk wrote a letter to Nicole Kidman, warning the actress not to star in the Danish director’s next film. (She did, anyway, in 2003’s Dogville).
The GQ profile on von Trier also points to a post made by Björk about Dancer in the Dark, which strongly alluded to von Trier’s behaviour.
“You can take quite sexist film directors like Woody Allen or Stanley Kubrick and still they are the one that provide the soul to their movies. In Lars von Trier’s case it is not so and he knows it. He needs a female to provide his work soul. And he envies them and hates them for it. So he has to destroy them during the filming. And hide the evidence.”
Von Trier has yet to respond publicly to the accusation, but you can read Björk’s post in full below.