The Pretty Baby star appeared as a guest on The Drew Barrymore Show to promote her two-part documentary titled Pretty Baby: Brooke Shields, and shared the toll of being sexualized as a young girl in Hollywood.
Barrymore asked Shields how she felt when the #MeToo movement garnered more attention in 2017.
"I didn't feel like I had a dog in that race. I didn't feel like I could speak to it, because I experienced things that were so inappropriate at such a young age,” Barrymore said. "We were children. How did that movement affect you? Did you feel like you could speak to it?”
Shields said she didn’t feel like she could speak to the movement, because she didn’t know where she fell on the spectrum. She also added that she didn’t know how to interpret her own experiences.
“I was made to feel culpable, but at the same time you victim-shame yourself. We were so young and it was so ‘appropriate,’” Shields said, using air quotes around the word. “I couldn’t feel sorry. I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know.”
Shields added that once she realized that behavior she was witnessing was problematic she refused to allow herself to emotionally process the trauma.
Barrymore, holding hands with Shields on the show’s couch, said she related, especially not understanding how inappropriate previous experiences were.
“I felt like I couldn't speak to the movement, and I was so happy that it was happening, but I felt like I experienced too many things that were so gray and so awkward and I didn't know were wrong at the time,” Barrymore said.
The two agreed that looking back, they understood how serious and traumatic the experiences they went through were, especially as the two are both mothers with daughters.
Barrymore told reporters in November 2017 at the Glamour Awards that she never experienced any form of sexual harassment or assault, but praised women who were speaking out in Hollywood, according to People magazine.
“I was scrappy. Nobody messed with me,” Barrymore said at the event. “I think it’s an extraordinary time for women, and we have to encourage all of this strength.”
In Shields’s documentary, she opens up about her experience shooting the controversial 1980 film The Blue Lagoon. She said director Randal Kleiser tried to market it around her sex appeal despite being 14.
In an interview for the documentary, Shields said Kleiser was trying to turn the film into a “reality show,” adding that “they wanted to sell my actual sexual awakening,” despite not being in “touch with any of my own sexuality.”
“I was a pawn, I was a piece, I was a commodity,” Shields said.