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Lynda Carter reveals harassment on Wonder Woman set, her own #MeToo story

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Mar 12, 2018

For the past several months we have come to learn just what exactly "Me Too" really means. It means that there is virtually no woman who is untouched by some personal tale of sexual harassment and assault, and now it seems that extends to Lynda Carter, most famous for playing TV's Wonder Woman in the mid-to-late 1970s.

In an interview with The Daily Beast ahead of taping her narration for Epic Warrior Women, a documentary chronicling the history of real-life historical women warriors, the actress told reporter Tim Teeman that she had her own experience with harassment and assault on the set of the famous television show. According to Carter, "There was a cameraman who drilled a hole in my dressing room wall on the Warner Brothers lot." Though Carter was unwilling to name any names, she did confirm that he was dealt with accordingly. "They caught him, fired him, and drummed him out of the business."

Of course, this wasn't the actress' only experience with unwanted sexual advances. In fact, it wasn't even the worst. In that same interview, Carter also revealed she had been the victim of sexual abuse, though she refused to go into detail beyond saying that her abuser is currently facing some sort of punishment for his crimes already. While she had considered taking legal action against him, she thought it wouldn't help to pile on. "I wish I could, and if I could I would. And I would talk about it," Carter explained. "But it ends up being about me, and not about the people who can talk about it. I don’t want it to be about me, it’s not about me. It’s about him being a scumbag. So legally I can’t do anything. If I could I would."

Carter did, however, show her support for other women who have come forward in several high-profile cases, saying emphatically that she believes every woman who has accused men like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and President Donald Trump. "Why would they lie?" she said. "I believe the women."

When asked why she has never come forward about her abuse before now, Carter expressed a common concern among women: fear of repercussions. Many women do not report their abusers for fear that the accusations would be turned on them, that their actions would be placed under a microscope, or that they would face direct negative effects like job loss, blacklisting, or other injury to their professional careers.

"Who you are going to tell except your girlfriends and your circle of friends? You’d say or hear, ‘Stay away from that guy.’ ‘Watch out for this casting director.’ And so you would hear it from other people, other people would hear it from other people. ‘Watch out for so-and-so.’ That’s how you protected yourself: through the grapevine," said Carter. "We were women’s lib, burn the bra. We weren’t going to take any sh-t from people. So we felt strong in that, but there were still not a lot of parts for us."

Whisper campaigns, like the one Carter describes, have long been the main defense mechanism for women dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace. Women coming together to warn each other of which men to avoid, who had assaulted women in the past, and who were the creeps and the ones who couldn't seem to keep their hands, eyes, or comments to themselves. It is from these campaigns that the #MeToo movement was born, taking those whispered accusations and making them public, showing the world just how many women had experienced the epidemic of harassment and assault both in the workplace and in private, personal spaces. 

Carter praised the #MeToo movement for finally taking powerful men to task, and for opening itself up to women not just in powerful positions in Hollywood, but to "maids and caregivers."

"I asked my husband if he was surprised by all the #MeToo stories," said Carter. "‘Yeah, I’m surprised,’ he said. Ask any woman, they’re not surprised. It’s been going on for years. It’s not news to us [women], but it is news to you [men]. We’ve been trying to tell you. We’ve been trying to tell you for a long time, and you haven’t listened."