In Me Too Movement News: Change Is Coming
As the Harvey Weinstein effect swept over Hollywood, a column we once used to eye-roll and rage over infuriating news items became focused almost solely on the emerging sexual misconduct beat. “This Week In ‘Seriously, F*ck That Guy’” used to be a sporadic post, but became a week-to-week necessity as more and more and more allegations, firings, apologies, and rebuffs came forth. However, I’m suspending use of that title for this topic. As more and more waves of good news come forward, that title’s arguably glib tone has becoming increasingly ill-suited. Victims’ voices are being heard, and alleged abusers are actually facing consequences. I’m sure, TWiSFTG will return in some form. But in this new year, I’m putting the focus of this beat on the change we’re seeing, not the assholes who necessitated it.
This is far from over. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has created a task force dedicated to investigating sex crimes, including cold cases. The Beverly Hills Police Department is pursuing charges against Harvey Weinstein and director James Toback. Plus, The Hollywood Reporter has assigned seven reporters to “a newly created sexual-misconduct beat,” and The New Yorker’s tip line is getting 10-15 calls a day regarding this issue. (The New Yorker)
Here’s a more in-depth look at how the LAPD is responding. (LA Times)
Rose McGowan’s memoir Brave comes out this month. So, she sat down with Vanity Fair to discuss Weinstein and surviving sexual assault. (VF)
McGowan’s Planet Terror director Robert Rodriguez took issue with one of McGowan’s claims in the interview, specifically that he “sold our film to my monster.” (Vulture)
On Tuesday, NBC officially named Hoda Kotb the new co-host of the Today show, opposite Savannah Guthrie. She’s filling the seat left by the loathsome Matt Lauer, who was fired over sexual misconduct allegations. But don’t worry, she’ll still do the wine-splashed final hour with Kathie Lee Gifford. (Vulture)
We’ve previously reported about the Time’s Up initiative, where 300 women in the Hollywood community have banded together with a a $13 million defense fund to combat sexism in their industry. Among those women is Blake Lively, star of Woody Allen’s Cafe Society. And Dylan Farrow, who has spoken out about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Allen, has something to say about that.
You worked with my abuser, @blakelively. Am I a woman who matters too?— Dylan Farrow (@realdylanfarrow) January 2, 2018
In related news, some poor bastard went through 56 boxes of Allen’s “private notes,” and discovered exactly what his movies have been telling us for decades. (WaPo)
Producer Brett Ratner, who has been accused of multiple counts of sexual misconduct and rape, is still suing Melanie Kohler, one of his alleged victims. His lawyers are looking to “seek a protective order barring media disclosures in the case, and would also seek to limit the scope of discovery” to exclude the other allegations against him. But Kohler’s attorneys, who are working pro-bono, argue, “If Ratner does not want his relevant ‘bad acts’ discovered by Kohler or made part of his public lawsuit, then the solution is not to launch baseless attacks against Kohler or her attorneys. Rather, the solution is for him to dismiss his meritless lawsuit.” (Variety)
Another Ratner accuser, Olivia Munn has responded to Woody Allen’s claim that all of this has a “witch-hunt atmosphere.” The actress wrote in part, “The possibility of an overcorrection is much less worrisome than all of the injustices that led us to this moment. Woody’s gut instinct to fear what this might become would be better suited to a gut instinct to hold back an urge that could be wrong.” (THR)
Danny Masterson, who has been accused of rape by four women, has been dropped by the top talent agency The United Talent Agency. This comes a month after he was canned from the Netflix series The Ranch over these allegations. Well, technically it seems he was fired because someone at Netflix was caught being shockingly insensitive about these allegations, but at least he was fired. (HuffPo)
Ed Westwick, who has been accused of sexual assault by three women, has been excised from the BBC One show Ordeal by Innocence. His role has been recast, and Christian Cooke will replace him in reshoots. (Variety)
After sexual misconduct allegations arose about Dustin Hoffman, discussion about his notorious behavior toward Meryl Streep on Kramer vs. Kramer re-emerged. And a 1979 interview with Streep resurfaced where she recounted Hoffman groping her the first time they met. Streep’s latest comments regarding sexual harassment and Hoffman are disheartening to say the least. (Vulture)
While John Oliver admitted he felt “sad” about his confrontation with Hoffman during a Wag The Dog Q&A, Anna Graham Hunter, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas, and two women who wished to remain anonymous were grateful for his efforts.
Thank you @iamjohnoliver for confronting Dustin Hoffman. While the questions you asked may not have led to the constructive conversation you hoped for, the fact that you asked them at all is what matters most. @nykass @corithyme @MelissaKester + 3 others pic.twitter.com/WeenZP5jck— Anna Graham Hunter (@annaghunter) December 27, 2017
Andrew Creighton and Mike Germano, two senior executives at Vice Media, have been suspended thanks to the New York Times article detailing sexual harassment allegations against both. (Variety)
Following an investigation, the gaming website IGN has fired editor-in-chief Steve Butts over sexual harassment. (Kotaku)
In a subtweet, Dan Harmon made a blanket apology for being an “asshole.” Former Community writer Megan Ganz called him out, in an exchange that was enlightening and heartbreaking. Because apologies are a start, but they aren’t a magic spell that undoes the damage of abuse. (Pajiba)
Paul Sorvino, proud father of Mira Sorvino, was asked by a paparazzo about his thoughts on Harvey Weinstein, who sexually harassed and willfully wounded the Oscar-winner’s career. Papa Sorvino had some choice words.
I've been waiting for this….Paul Sorvino on Harvey Weinstein harassing and blacklisting his daughter Mira Sorvino….— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 3, 2018
"He ought to hope he goes to jail…cause if not, he has to meet me and I will kill the motherfu**er" https://t.co/q6PWec3jxD pic.twitter.com/kkov60WdBx
Meanwhile, Hollywood might have to rethink the whole “women don’t sell movies” thing. The top three highest domestic grossing movies last year were Wonder Woman, Beauty and the Beast, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. (The Wrap)
New York Times film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis had a thoughtful discussion about Weinstein, Allen, open secrets and the Me Too Movement, looking forward to what it means for Hollywood. It’s an interesting read that includes the line, “I would challenge those people to use the words ‘Brett Ratner’ and ‘meritocracy’ in the same sentence.” Bless. (NYT)
Note: The “Me Too Movement” was founded by activist Tarana Burke. The header image is not intended to suggest Rose McGowan kicked it off, only that she is discussed in the article, in which Planet Terror is also mentioned.