Actor Matthew Lawrence recently opened up on the Brotherly Love podcast about a disturbing experience he had with an Oscar-winning director. He says he was offered a role in a big film, but only if he stripped for the director. He claims his refusal to do so got him fired from his agency at the time, and prevented him from playing the next “Marvel character.”
“There’s been many times in my life where I’ve been propositioned to get a huge role,” Lawrence said. “I’ve lost my agency because I went to the hotel room, which I can’t believe they would send me to, of a very prominent Oscar award-winning director who showed up in his robe, asked me to take my clothes off and said he needed to take Polaroids of me.”
Adding, “And then if I did X, Y and Z, I would be the next Marvel character. I didn’t do that, and my agency fired me because I left this director’s room.”
Lawrence didn’t name either the director or the agency, or give any approximate dates for when this event occurred. Making it almost impossible the narrow down who may have done this to him. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going for 15 years now. And even before the more cohesive MCU, they were still making films. So this horrifying event could have taken place at almost any point in his career.
The actor also used his story to highlight the culture of silence that Hollywood has built around sexual misconduct and assault. A silence that seems to intensify when it comes to male performers coming forward.
“Terry Crews comes out and says it; people are laughing at him,” said Lawrence. “People don’t support him. They kick him out. Why? Because he’s a man that represents masculinity, and I think our society is less ready to hear that situation going on with men than they are with women.”
“Not a lot of guys in my opinion have come out and talked about this in the industry,” he explained. “There is also this same situation. Now granted, it’s probably about a third of what women go through. The amount of men… Men go through this as well, whether it’s another woman or another man in power.”
And Lawrence is right, anyone can be the victim of sexual misconduct no matter their age, sexual orientation, gender, or race. Allowing conversations like this to happen without shutting them down with mockery brings these terrible actions into the spotlight. Conversations like this no longer allow abusers to hide in plain sight.
You can watch the full Brotherly Love interview with Lawrence below: