America Ferrera Looks Back On The “Super Traumatic” Backlash She Received After Sharing Her Sexual Assault Story During The #MeToo Movement

America Ferrera reflected on what it was like being in the industry during the height of the #MeToo movement in a new interview.

“I was so moved by the women who were speaking out, realizing how much courage they had,” she recently told Harper’s Bazaar. “[Telling my story] felt like an act of solidarity.”

In an Instagram post shared in 2017, Ferrera became one of many women who came forward about being sexually assaulted in light of the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein at the time.

“First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9 years old,” she wrote. “I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a 9 year old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man.”

Ferrera wrote that it was a man she would “see on a daily basis for years to come.”

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, the actress said sharing her story turned out to be a “super traumatic” moment in her life.

“It was the first time I had ever mentioned it,” she said. “I got phone calls from very close people in my life telling me that I’d done the wrong thing, making me feel really ashamed. They were not happy. It was super traumatic.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 28: Honoree America Ferrera speaks onstage during the 23rd Annual NHMC Impact Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on February 28, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by JC Olivera/Getty Images for National Hispanic Media Coalition )
Getty Images for National Hispan

She continued, “The hardest part was experiencing just how threatening it was to people. And it was so validating of why I had never said anything about it since I was nine years old.”

The actress said that moment felt “historic” after so many women came forward with their own stories, essentially “sticking their necks out” for each other. “I wanted to stand with them and my friends,” she said.

Ferrera has always been an activist throughout her career. She later went on to play a key role in Time’s Up, the nonprofit organization that helps victims of sexual harassment, and has aided efforts to encourage voting in Latina communities.

Now, the Ugly Betty star who admitted to not being much of a “Barbie girl” herself, is taking on a new role in Greta Gerwig‘s highly anticipated summer blockbuster.

“I didn’t play with Barbies for a number of reasons,” she explained. “We couldn’t afford them. And they just didn’t resonate with me.”

But the Barbie script represented something different for Ferrera.

“What’s exciting about being a part of this movie about such an influential icon in our culture is getting to expand and shift the narrative to include more of us, so young girls and boys can see themselves in something so dominant,” she said.

Barbie is now playing in theaters.

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