The openly gay actors both reveal that they have been inappropriately propositioned at some point in their respective careers.
Charlie Carver and Wilson Cruz have spoken out about sexual harassment they have experienced within Hollywood – especially at the start of their acting careers.
The stars were talking on the red carpet at GLSEN’s (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) Respect Awards over the weekend, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations from numerous women across the movie industry.
Speaking to Variety, Wilson was asked if he had experienced inappropriate behaviour during his younger years on My So-Called Life, to which he replied: “Yes! I mean, early on when I was a little twink there were people who made suggestions about how they could help me.
“And you know, clearly I didn’t take them up on that because I would be far more famous than I am now!”
Wilson didn’t name names but said that it was “older gentlemen of a certain age who made offers.”
“I did not take them up on it, but it was uncomfortable,” he said. “I was in my 20s, and I thought: ‘Is this what one does?’ And also: ‘Am I going to ruin my career by not doing it?’
“In the end, I politely said no and kept on my way.”
He added: “But, you know, it definitely happens. I think it’s been quietly accepted as the norm in a lot of ways. People are like: ‘Oh, it happens’ and you brush it off. [But] I didn’t feel safe.
“I was trying to manoeuvre my way through Hollywood as an openly gay actor and there weren’t many examples for me at the time. I was juggling a lot of worries.”
© MGM Television
Charlie Carver – who came out publicly in 2016 – said that he is “no stranger” when it comes to suffering advances from people in power.
“There are many other people who have experienced way worse in terms of harassment, but I can identify and empathise with anybody who has gone through it,” the 29-year-old said.
“I’m not a stranger to it. This will hopefully open up a discussion about men and power dynamics in general — maybe it has to do with exerting masculinity.”
Asked how he was able to heal from the experience, Charlie replied: “Through the support of talking with other people who have been through the same thing.
“I wouldn’t say I was traumatised. But it was definitely a lesson, something to move through.”
Earlier this month, James Van Der Beek, who rose to fame after starring in teen drama Dawson’s Creek, took to Twitter to offer support for all the women who have spoken out against Weinstein.
The star recounted his own personal experience of sexual harassment as a young actor, where “older, powerful men” would touch him inappropriately, leaving him feeling “powerless”.