Success! Domestic Abuser Matthew Newton Steps Down From Jessica Chastain Film

Jessica Chastain is well-known as a hardworking and successful actor. She’s also a #TimesUp activist, leading the movement for gender equality in the film industry.

Chastain received Oscar nominations for “The Help” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” and she also secured great reviews for her roles in “The Martian” and “Interstellar.” On January 1, 2018, she played a vital part in launching the Time’s Up movement in The New York Times.

Time’s Up is a legal defense fund working to support survivors of sexual harassment in the film industry and to move toward gender parity in the entertainment world.

“I wear black to stand in solidarity with my sisters and to say it’s #TimesUp on this imbalance of power IN ALL INDUSTRIES,” Chastain tweeted on Golden Globes day.

So why did Chastain hire known domestic abuser Matthew Newton to direct ”Eve,” a film that she will produce and star in through Freckle Films, her all-female production company?

That’s the question Care2 members asked when they created a petition urging Chastain and Freckle Films to fire Matthew Newton immediately. 

Success!

The petition garnered over 7,000 signatures, and it didn’t take long before Newton announced that he was withdrawing from the movie, due to public pressure — including the Care2 petition

Congratulations to all the Care2 members and gender equality activists who signed the petition!

Upon his resignation, Newton stated:

Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film Eve that I will be stepping down as director. Since the announcement of the film, the responses, which are powerful and important, have not fallen on deaf ears. I am profoundly aware that I have a responsibility to lead where I have failed in the past. I can never undo the harm that I’ve caused the people I’ve cared about and I carry that shame and responsibility with me every day.

The Australian filmmaker was referring to various incidents from his past: In 2007, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend actor Brooke Satchwell, and in 2010 his fiancée Rachael Taylor was granted a two-year domestic violence order against Newton after she accused him of assaulting her twice.

Yet despite Newton’s multiple counts of domestic abuse, Jessica Chastain, a leading voice in the Time’s Up movement, wanted to give him a pass. Instead, she was called to action by this Care2 petition that asked her to drop Newton from the film.

“#Times Up for rich and powerful men being absolved of horrific abuse against women,” read the petition.

Take Action!

Do you have an issue that’s vital to you? Why not start your own Care2 petition? Check out these guidelines and soon you’ll find the vibrant Care2 community signing up to support you.

 

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