Dakota Johnson reminds the world Alfred Hitchcock ruined her grandmother's career for not sleeping with him

'He terrorized her. He was never held accountable.'
November 16, 2021 11:57 a.m. EST
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Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson comes from a long line of Hollywood stars -- daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, once step-daughter of Antonio Banderas, and granddaughter to Tippi Hedren.

ICYMI: Hedren was a massive star in the 1960s, known for starring in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Marnie. The director was known primarily as an auteur with some ~excentricities~, but as Dakota recently reminded everyone, on-set and off-set tactics were actually harassment, something her grandmother never shied away from telling her about.

Speaking on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Scott Feinberg asked Johnson whether Hedren, who is now 91, had anything to say to her granddaughter when Dakota decided to enter the film industry.

 “She was encouraging, and she’s always been really honest and firm about standing up for yourself,” Dakota said. “That’s what she did. [Alfred] Hitchcock ruined her career because she didn’t want to sleep with him, and he terrorized her. He was never held accountable."

“It’s completely unacceptable for people in a position of power to wield that power over someone in a weaker position, no matter the industry,” she continued, before pausing to collect her thoughts in an obviously emotional moment.

“It’s hard to talk about because she’s my grandmother. You don’t want to imagine somebody taking advantage of your grandmother,” she added, visibly shaken.

“I think the thing that she’s been so amazing for me and my mother is just like, no you do not put up with that s**t from anybody. She would say it in a far more eloquent way. She’s such a glamorous movie star still.”

That glamorous movie star has recently spoken about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Hitchcock, who died in 1980. As Feinberg pointed out in the THR interview, she came forward with her story well before the #MeToo movement.

In her 2016 memoir, Tippi, it was reported that Hedren revealed Hitchock once asked her to "touch him" during production for The Birds. In another memory, she recalled Hitchcock threw himself on top of her and attempted to kiss her in his limo.

On the Marnie set, she alleges that he tried to assault her again, writing that he "put his hands on" her in her dressing room. "It was sexual, it was perverse. The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became."

"It was an awful, awful moment," she wrote in her memoir, but she also writes that she never spoke about the incident to anyone because "sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn't exist" at the time.

Dakota's comments about her grandmother come shortly after she made some controversial statements about "cancel culture" in reference to famous Hollywood actors who have been accused of sexual misconduct and abuse of power. 

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month, Dakota said, referring to disgraced actors like Armie Hammer, Shia LaBeouf, and Johnny Depp, all of whom she has co-starred with, "I never experienced that firsthand from any of those people. I had an incredible time working with them.” 

She continued, “I feel sad for the loss of great artists. I feel sad for people needing help and perhaps not getting it in time. I feel sad for anyone who was harmed or hurt. It’s just really sad.”

"Cancel culture is such a f***ing downer. I hate that term," she added.

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