The behavior of producer Javier Pérez Santana at the party after the Feroz awards last Saturday, where he sexually harassed several of the attendees (men and at least one woman) until he was arrested by the police, was not limited to that night at the Ebro Space in Zaragoza. EL PAÍS has collected half a dozen testimonies, some with names and surnames and others anonymously, mostly referring to night parties, from men who testify that the producer approached them and insinuated on them or touched them without asking permission. “At the party to celebrate the Gaudí awards in 2022, at the Luz de Gas nightclub in Barcelona, he tried to kiss me twice, holding me by the head with force, while I was completely unprepared,” David Moragas, director and director, told this newspaper. feature film screenwriter A Stormy Night (2020) and whose short Tomorrow we leave it opted for a Gaudí award this year.
The news of the arrest of Pérez Santana, 55, a collaborator of Agustí Villaronga in his latest films (The testament of the Rose, The belly of the sea), It has caused an expansive wave in various groups of Spanish cinema and particularly in Catalan. Many wonder why they have tolerated the producer’s clearly abusive behavior for so long and question the ingrained culture of silence in his industry, which has protected him until now. “I also experienced his harassment at the Feroz awards last year,” wrote the director and actor Marc Ferrer (Cut! y The damn spring) on his Instagram account, referring to the testimony collected by EL PAÍS from victims of Pérez Santana who reported that, on Saturday, the producer “kissed them on the mouth and neck” and “touched their ass.”
Ferrer adds in his message: “This is your mode of operation. He was with me twice like this throughout the night. And all the while wondering what he had to do to fuck me. And, as she knew him, he created very uncomfortable situations. The first time she thought that she had lost the pot. The second, I already got angry ”. And she laments: “Among fags, bullying is very invisible.”
The stories related to this newspaper make up a simple and overwhelming image. A man well established in an industry in which contacts and relationships that are forged at parties, and other events that are still work, are everything. Film festivals, award ceremonies, premieres. A time when professionalism goes to the background. Insinuations, touching without prior notice, sometimes interrupting conversations, slipping into groups, recurring as the night progresses. The hand inside someone else’s underwear, the tongue around the neck, the mouth open when kissing. A smile, if anything, when detaching from the victim. Of course, never with intimidation.
People, generally (but not only) younger and less established, who don’t know how to react. “I just remember being totally caught up after that guy ate my mouth,” says an industry worker, in his early 30s, who found himself in this situation last year and who prefers not to reveal his name. “You don’t know how to react, when you want to realize it, it’s over and what you feel is relief because it’s gone. You don’t stop to think about the magnitude of what just happened.”
It is a dangerously common image in Spanish nightlife and especially protected in a microcosm like the cinema, where whoever denounces is exposed to arrest. The stories end -when they are described for EL PAÍS at least- with a common outcome: “But don’t put my name or where I was from” or “it’s because my friend is afraid to speak”.
Speaking for Cadena SER on Monday morning, the writer and journalist Bob Pop recalled his experience at the party on Saturday after the Feroz awards ceremony in Zaragoza: “When I saw the photo of the defendant, I remembered that I He harassed him because he came three times to try to eat my mouth, while I tried to avoid him as best I could”, he said. And, about the culture that tolerates these incidents, he offered this reflection: “What happens? That I never thought that this could be denounced. I thought: ‘Well, he has touched me my share of the slimy drunk that you get at all the parties and you put up with it.’ How rude we are, in my generation, in my culture, that we assume that this is normal. What seems like a huge advance to me is that we no longer have to assume that it is.”
It was a woman, an actress, who turned the talk about Pérez Santana into a complaint for sexual harassment at dawn on January 29. Pérez Santana was arrested and released on Monday, after testifying before the judge. In between, the WhatsApp groups of the industry, the social networks of the film workers affected by the producer, have been taking fire. In the words of one of them: “Silence is no longer an option.”
Subscribe to continue reading
Read without limits
Leave a Reply