Sophia Bush Says a Fan Once Called Her a "Piece of Meat"

"You're a performer, perform for me."

Sophia Bush made an appearance on Stitcher Studios's Podcrushed with host Penn Badgley this week and the One Tree Hill alum opened up about the way that fans treated her when they'd see her out in the wild, living her life just like everyone else. During her chat, she noted that fans felt "entitled" to know everything and anything about her personal life — she was and remains notoriously private about anything unrelated to her activism and her work — and that they were constantly thinking that because she was a performer, she would willingly perform for them at the drop of a hat.

Sophia Bush Women in Film (WIF) Oscar party

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"They treat you like an object or a commodity. They believe they're entitled to details about your life. They believe they are entitled to details about how you build your family. They believe they are entitled to criticize how you build your family," she told Badgley. "They believe they're entitled to criticize whom you've dated and when you've dated and what you've ever said and if you've ever left a bar drunk."

She shared one specific story, saying that a man wanted to take a photo of her and he got a little too close for comfort. She went on to say that she wanted to simply be treated like "a person" and be respected just like everyone else.

"There was a guy at the table next to me and all my friends who walked right up to me and stuck his camera in my face to take a picture. [He] almost hit me in the face with his phone," she said. "I was like, 'Please, don't do that. Hello, I'm a person. Please don't do that.'"

"He went back to his table and just kept videoing and taking pictures," Bush continued. "After half an hour I was like, 'Dude, come on. Please stop.' We're just hanging out. We're human beings. I'm not a zoo animal. I see you, I hear you, is my thought process. He keeps going and he is getting rowdy. I can hear him swearing."

She shared that she confronted the man and that he continued to barrage her with disrespect.

"Hi, I'm a person. I'd like to shake your hand. My name is Sophia. You're making me really uncomfortable, man. I've asked you to stop. I'm a girl in a bar. You are a man I do not know. I don't wanna be videoed on your phone and my friends don't either. Can you please stop?"

"He was like, 'I don't have to stop. You're in public.' And I said, 'OK, but is there no world in which you can understand that you are making me feel like a piece of meat, like I'm not human?'" she recalled. "And he goes, 'I watch your show, so I pay your fucking salary. You are a piece of meat to me.' And I just went, 'What?'"

Bush finished with a jaw-dropping statement: "He goes, 'You're just a TV prostitute. This is part of what it is as a woman. I was like, 'OK. I'm gonna go home.'"

Sophia Bush Women in Film (WIF) Oscar party

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She went on to say that the world of celebrity is "deeply toxic" and that all the gloss and glam of the entertainment industry really is just smoke and mirrors. 

"But it's such an insane ... heaping pile of shit that we throw onto people," Bush added. "We do it because we also work in an industry that presents this false notion of wealth, privilege, beauty, and access. That's just not what most people experience. I think it's deeply toxic."

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