Bella Thorne shares haunting experience of child sexualisation in Hollywood

Bella Thorne shares haunting experience of child sexualisation in Hollywood

Written by Charley Ross

The actor has revealed that she was rejected from an acting job at 10 years old after being accused of “flirting” with a casting director.

Bella Thorne has opened up about her disturbing experiences of being sexualised as a child when auditioning and meeting with powerful male executives in Hollywood.

In a recent conversation with Emily Ratajkowski on the High Low With EmRata podcast, the actor spoke candidly about being rejected for a role at the age of 10 because an unnamed casting director accused her of flirting with him.

“I had a director give me feedback once and I was 10,” she explained. “The casting director calls my agent and the agent calls my mom, and they’re like, ‘So she’s not moving forward because the director felt like she was flirting with him and it made him really uncomfortable.’ 

“What the fuck are you talking about, man?! I don’t give a fuck what I said! I don’t care if I said, ‘Eat my pussy right now’! [I was] 10 years old. Why, why, would you ever think that?”  

Ratajkowski pointed out a key problem: the fact that an adult man would view any behaviour from a 10-year-old girl as flirting. “Also, him feeling that it was a real issue,” she said.

Thorne went on to describe the “director session” she had participated in, and how little chance she would have had to behave inappropriately, anyway.

“You can’t really say or do much,” she said. “You do the scene, you say ‘hello’, you walk out. There’s no time to like, ‘Let me go sit on your lap or make you feel uncomfortable.’ What the fuck are you talking about, man?”

She described how this encounter had stayed with her, making her doubt herself and her own behaviour.

“I’m trying to find almost fault in myself,” she said. “Like: ‘What did you do, Bella? What did you do that made him feel like this?’ And every time, I’m like, ‘Bella, stop it.’ Even that thought right there is becoming part of the problem… It drives me crazy.”

After hearing Thorne’s story, Ratajkowski said: “If you need a more fucked up story about Hollywood and paedophilia and the sexualisation of children, I don’t know that there is one.”  

The model, actor and writer went on to tell her own story of sexualisation in the entertainment industry, revealing inappropriate comments a modelling agent made to her when she was just 16.

Ratajkowski said the agent told her: “This face, this is how we know this girl gets fucked… you gotta give a lesson, Emily, on this.” She observed: “That is the reality of being a young woman in the industry.”

High Low With EmRata takes a look at a range of topics, including ethical non-monogamy, attachment theory and porn addiction.

Images: Getty, Stylist

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