Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure star Alex Winter has revealed that he was sexually abused as a child actor in the 1970s and said that the #Metoo movement has been a “light bulb” moment, making it easier for people to share their experiences.
Winter, speaking to the BBC’s Radio 5, said that he was abused by a man, who is now dead, but that he didn’t feel it was possible to share his story.
“Had I been older, had I had more resources, every victim goes through this whether they’re a child or adult rape victim, you hear this over and over again. All of that was irrelevant because I only had the resources I had and it was absolutely taboo in the popular vernaculars so I didn’t feel like I had any place of safety to unlock an extremely sensitive and potentially dangerous secret because there is a power dynamic that does put you in a place where you’re afraid for your own safety,” he added.
However, Winter, who is set to direct a Frank Zappa documentary, said that vulnerable people in the industry are better served to share their secrets in the current environment.
“That’s the vital importance of whatever’s going on that the moment and it’s going to keep on going is that, had I existed in a culture that’s like the one that is happening at this moment, that’s a very different culture. These sorts of things are now being spoken about, in a much more accepting way on a societal level, it gives you a lot more freedom to tell anybody because usually you’re not telling anybody. That’s a very dangerous pace to be in mentally.
“I never thought in my lifetime that I would ever be… sitting here talking to a BBC radio person about my childhood sexual abuse,” he added.
Winter said he had worked through his issues and that he now has a “functioning, healthy life”. “I love my career, I love my family and my kids. I feel incredibly lucky.”
Winter also spoke about his experiences working on the Bill and Ted franchise with Keanu Reeves ahead of the third movie, Bill & Ted Face the Music, which is being written by the original creators Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, directed by Galaxy Quest director Dean Parisot and produced by Steven Soderbergh. “The movies are what they are, they’re silly and all that, I don’t hold them in overly high estimation as works of art or anything, but we had a lot of fun making them.”