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Ashley Judd calls out 'everyday sexism' after encounter with airport employee

The "Divergent" star was so irritated by a sexist encounter with an airport employee, she filmed a Facebook Live video about it.
/ Source: TODAY

Ashley Judd has never been one to hold her tongue when she's bothered by injustice, which is why she's speaking up now about the "everyday sexism" women endure.

The outspoken "Divergent" star, 49, was so irritated by an inappropriate encounter with an airport employee, she filmed a Facebook Live video detailing the experience.

"I was coming through security and a guy said, ‘Hey sweetheart,’ and I said, ‘I’m not your sweetheart, I am your client,'" revealed the star.

Judd's retort to the employee was about "setting a boundary." But apparently the man didn't take the hint.

"When I was setting my things out, he said, ‘Hey nice dress!’” Judd continued, explaining, “I didn’t hear him say anything about the attire of any of the other folks in the entire line and I am in one of the most traveled airports in the world."

Ashley Judd
Chris Pizzello / AP

Then, while Judd was going through airport security, the employee made contact with her.

"He touched me. I didn’t see him touch anybody else," she said. "And I turned around and I said, ‘That was unnecessary.’”

The actress was so uncomfortable, she said, "my skin was burning, my feet are burning. It’s so hard to continue to set these boundaries when someone continues to push."

When the employee called her "sweetheart" a second time, Judd decided to report him to a manager.

The actress acknowledged that women face sexist scenarios every day — but, she said, that doesn't mean they should put up with it.

“This is the kind of thing...I categorize as everyday sexism,” she explained. “And it is so easy to let it go and not to speak up, particularly when it is so easy for someone to push back and say ‘Oh, I was just being polite.'"

Judd posted a follow-up video letting fans know the manager "immediately apologized" for the employee's behavior and assured her he would be reprimanded. He also told the actress that he was grateful to her for reporting the incident.

"Just because 99 people don't speak up doesn't mean it's okay," the manager told Judd.