Rose McGowan has dramatically cancelled upcoming appearances to promote her new memoir, Brave, after finding herself in a shouting match with a member of the public at an event in New York City.
McGowan was speaking at a Barnes & Noble when an audience member stood up from her seat and confronted her over some controversial remarks concerning transgender women, which she made during an interview last year.
In the relevant interview, which took place on RuPaul‘s What’s The Tee? podcast last July, McGowan said:
“They assume because they felt like a woman on the inside. That’s not developing as a woman. That’s not growing as a woman, that’s not living in this world as a woman, and a lot of the stuff I hear trans complaining about, yeah, welcome to the world.”
The audience member challenged McGowan on these comments, asking her to acknowledge statistics about rape, domestic violence and homicide concerning trans women. She shot back:
“We are the same. My point was, we are the same. There’s an entire show called ID channel, a network, dedicated to women getting abused, murdered, sexualized, violated, and you’re a part of that, too, sister. It’s the same.”
The audience member went on to accuse McGowan of doing “nothing” for trans women, and was eventually led out of the venue by security while chanting “white cis feminism.” As this was happening, McGowan launched into a rant, saying:
“Don’t label me, sister. Don’t put your labels on me. Don’t you fucking do that. Do not put your labels on me. I don’t come from your planet. Leave me alone. I do not subscribe to your rules. I do not subscribe to your language. You will not put labels on me or anybody. Step the fuck back. What I do for the fucking world and you should be fucking grateful. Shut the fuck up. Get off my back. What have you done? I know what I’ve done, goddammit.”
As audience members tried to calm her down and shouted “we love you Rose”, she continued:
“I’m not crying; I’m fucking mad with the lies. I’m mad that you put shit on me because I have a fucking vagina and I’m white or I’m black or I’m yellow or I’m purple. Fuck off. All of us want to say it. I just do … And you can label this thing as a breakdown. That, motherfuckers, is a breakdown. Maybe not for me, but for you. I might have information you want. I might know shit that you don’t. So fucking shut up. Please systemically. For once. In the world. You know what I’m talking about. Just tell the goddamned truth. Stop boxing everybody into shit. I didn’t agree to your cis fucking world. Okay? Fuck off.”
The following night, at a speaking event with Ronan Farrow, Rose McGowan said that she is still fearful that Harvey Weinstein will have her assassinated, and claimed that the audience member who confronted her the previous evening had been planted there.
The next day on Twitter, she announced her cancellation of her public appearances, saying that she had been “verbally assaulted for two full minutes … by an actor” while “no one in [the] room did anything.”
She demanded apologies from her publicists, assistants and managers as well as the audience members at the bookstore event, adding: “The truth is you all failed me. Again. And again. And again.”
I am canceling upcoming public appearances because I have given enough. I have given beauty, in return I was VERBALLY ASSAULTED for two full minutes @BNBuzz by an actor paid to verbally assault a woman who has been terrorized by your system. And no ONE in that room did anything— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 2, 2018
And everyone from my publicists, t assistants, managers and every person sitting in their chairs frozen by their weakness, a weakness called COMPLICITY. The truth is you all failed me. Again. And again. And again.— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 2, 2018
I would like an apology from the manager of the Union Square @BNUnionSquareNY and all security people, and the audience, who did nothing and let the paid verbal assault of an assaulted woman happen. Cool?— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) February 2, 2018
Rose McGowan’s Brave is out now.
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Image: Getty Images / Noam Galai