Björk detailed her own account of sexual harassment in the film industry in a post on the singer’s Facebook page.
“I am inspired by the women everywhere who are speaking up online to tell about my experience with a Danish director,” Björk wrote.
While the singer didn’t outright state the director’s name, considering she only starred in one feature film – 2000’s Dancer in the Dark, directed by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier – it was apparent who she was talking about.
“It was extremely clear to me when I walked into the actresses profession that my humiliation and role as a lesser sexually harassed being was the norm and set in stone with the director and a staff of dozens who enabled it and encouraged it,” Björk wrote. “I became aware of that it is a universal thing that a director can touch and harass his actresses at will and the institution of film allows it.”
Björk added that whenever she turned the director’s advances down, “He sulked and punished me and created for his team an impressive net of illusion where I was framed as the difficult one. Because of my strength, my great team and because I had nothing to lose having no ambitions in the acting world, I walked away from it and recovered in a years time. I am worried though that other actresses working with the same man did not.”
However, Björk added that following her confrontations with the Danish director, his relationship with his leading actresses in subsequent films was “more fair and meaningful.”
As Pitchfork notes, Björk and von Trier were often at odds on the Dancer in the Dark set, with the singer disagreeing on wardrobe choices to the point where she reportedly tore up a dress and ate its shreds. Despite the troubled production, the film won the Palme d’or at the Cannes Film Festival.
In a 2011 GQ interview, von Trier revealed that Björk wrote Nicole Kidman a letter advising the Australian actress not to star in the director’s next film Dogville. Kidman still took the role.
Bjork wrote of working with Von Trier, “You can take quite sexist film directors like Woody Allen or Stanley Kubrick and still they are the one that provide the soul to their movies. In Lars von Trier’s case it is not so and he knows it. He needs a female to provide his work soul. And he envies them and hates them for it. So he has to destroy them during the filming. And hide the evidence.”
“Let’s hope this statement supports the actresses and actors all over,” Björk wrote in conclusion in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. “Let’s stop this. There is a wave of change in the world.”