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Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles Sound Off About Sexism in the Entertainment Industry

Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles
Frazer Harrison/Mike Coppola, Getty Images

Wave after wave of sexual assault and harassment allegations have filled the headlines since news surrounding the sexual misconduct of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein broke in October. As women become emboldened by their shared stories of this behavior, country stars such as Jana Kramer have shared their own “#MeToo” moments — and recently, two more women have spoken out more generally about the culture in the entertainment industry that leads to this behavior.

Kelly Clarkson made an appearance on The View in late November, and during her time on the show, she gave her take on the situation. Clarkson says the problem is universal and has remained hidden for far too long.

“You have to tell your truth, you have to be honest,” Clarkson says. “I have a lot of friends that unfortunately had horrific things happen in their childhood, and it damaged them for quite a long time, because they felt they couldn’t say anything. And I don’t think people realize the weight and the gravity that takes on a person, and how to handle it. You have to be honest about it for you to heal.”

While Clarkson says that she’s never suffered an outright sexual assault, she has been bullied and demeaned throughout her career. It’s something she has no problem dealing with up front if it helps to shed light on the situation.

“I’ll call it out. Like, if somebody asks me a question, I’m not gonna lie for you,” she tells The View hosts. “I think that’s the best thing to do … not like you’re attacking someone, just telling your honest story.”

Jennifer Nettles, in an interview with People, meanwhile, says that the fact that women have been silent for so long doesn’t mean the problem hasn’t been there.

“Women don’t come out and speak their truth because many times they aren’t believed, and that then adds insult to the injury of the pain you’ve already experienced,” Nettles notes. “I think the fact that women started to be believed, they all started to feel empowered as a community, they started to feel empowered to support each other and say ‘Yes, come out and tell your stories and speak your truth, because if we don’t bring this darkness to the light, it will continue.'”

Nettles adds that the number of revelations in the entertainment industry does not surprise her. She also points out that the more honest people are about the situation, the more easily the culture as a whole can identify the breadth of the problem.

“The more light we shine on it, the more people will be able to see and go, oh, this is really pervasive throughout our culture,” Nettles states. “The entertainment industry is just a microcosm of the bigger macro. We’re not any different. There’s sexual harassment and sexual violations and rape that goes on across the board regardless of the industry or how and where it happens in life. It just so happens that this particular industry is very visible.”

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