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Actress, Arizona native Emma Stone calls sexual harassment a pandemic

Emma Stone arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Battle of the Sexes" on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

PHOENIX — Oscar-winning actress and Arizona native Emma Stone called sexual harassment a “pandemic” amid a sharp increase in allegations against some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

“I think it’s a pandemic. I think it’s through every industry,” she said during a roundtable interview with the Hollywood Reporter (WARNING: LINK CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE).

Several of the other stars at the table said they had been approached by agents or producers about being “difficult” when they stood up for themselves after something inappropriate was said.

Stone implied she had experienced a similar situation and said the pressure to stay quiet — in both Hollywood and everyday life — could be challenging.

“I’m someone who holds in a lot and gets really nervous to speak,” she said. “We have to recognize that there are so many who haven’t told their stories yet, who aren’t comfortable to share.

“I feel so much compassion for those who are still getting up and going to work every day with their abuser or have had abuse in their past and who are not ready to say anything. And putting pressure on women to share it, you know, ‘If you’re not saying it now, then you’re complicit in this evil that’s occurring,’ isn’t fair.”

Stone said one way to possibly combat sexual harassment in the workplace could be to pay women the same as men, echoing an idea put forth by screenwriter Brit Marling that was published in the Atlantic.

“If women were paid equally in every industry this would not be occurring,” Stone said. “This is something that women have had to fit into these different boxes for so many years just to get work and if these things are happening and they bring them to people’s attentions, they’re much more likely to be fired or be dismissed in any industry than a man in a more powerful position.”

However, the Scottsdale-born actress said equal pay would just be the first step.

“Equal pay clearly wouldn’t fix all of the issues surrounding abuse of power, violating behaviors and much more,” she said.

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