Actress Thandiwe (Thandie) Newton is Reclaiming Her Name

actress Thandiwe Newton is insisting people use her whole name.
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Photos: Wikimedia Commons

After being miscredited as “Thandie” in her first project—a mistake that has continued for the rest of her career—actress Thandiwe Newton is insisting people use her whole name.

All of her future films will be credited with her full name, Thandiwe, which means beloved in Shona. “That’s my name. It’s always been my name. I’m taking back what’s mine,” Newton said in her May cover story for British Vogue.

Newton also spoke about her experiences with abuse in the film industry, which started when she was sexually abused by director John Duigan at the age of 16 while shooting her very first film, Flirting.

“There’s a moment where the ghost of me changed, you know, and it was then, it was 16. He derailed me from myself utterly. I was traumatised. It was a kind of PTSD for sure. I was so distraught and appalled that a director had abused a young actress, and that it was happening elsewhere, minors getting abused and how fucked up it was. I was basically waiting for someone to come along and say, ‘Well, what shall we do about this?’’’

Although Newton faced a great deal of backlash when she first came forward with her story of abuse, soon the #MeToo movement led to countless more women within Hollywood sharing their own stories of abuse and assault.

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