dakota johnson
Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Dakota Johnson Launches New Podcast to Support Victims of Abuse and Gender-Based Violence 

It’s called The Left Ear 

Dakota Johnson is one of Hollywood’s top names right now – and she wants to use her platform to make a difference. 

Over the weekend, the actress appeared at the 2019 Global Citizen Festival to launch her new podcast, called The Left Ear. Johnson created the platform to give victims of sexual abuse and gender-based violence a platform to share their stories and be heard. 

The name has special meaning with the actress explaining on Instagram, “Your left ear is the ear closest to your heart. And by listening with your heart, you can save someone even just a little bit.”

As for how the podcast came about, Johnson wrote, “One year ago I asked women and girls around the world to call me and leave a voicemail telling their stories of sexual violence, harassment, and gender-based inequalities. I didn’t want to speak on their behalf, I wanted to listen to them.” Importantly, Johnson said that she didn’t want to edit any of the stories to maintain total authenticity. “To protect anonymity the voices have been slightly pitched, and any identifiers have been removed. Other than that, they have not been edited. These are real stories from real people around the world.”

It comes one year after she last appeared at the festival and shared her number with the world to ask women to share their stories. At the time, she wrote, “Women and girls in every corner of the world face extreme sexual violence and sexual harrassment on a daily basis. Over 800 women and adolescent girls die every day because they do not have access to reliable contraceptives and basic maternity services. I don’t want to speak for you. I want to listen to you. This is my phone number. Tell me your story in my voicemail, and I will listen. There is power in numbers. Together with [Global Citizen] I will compile your stories and get your voices heard. We must achieve a world where #sheisequal.” 

The first episode is now available via theleftear.com. Johnson warns listeners that the stories can be harrowing and urges them to take care of themselves as they listen but stresses that it is important we do actually hear what these women have to say. “Listening to these stories can feel very intense. So please take care of yourself if choose to listen. And I hope you do choose to listen, because listening is the most important thing you can do for someone.”