The Weinstein Situation - A Change on the Horizon?
The recent allegations against numerous high-profile celebrities have taken Hollywood by storm. The most pertinent among them is perhaps that of Harvey Weinstein, the powerful film producer whose repertoire includes Gangs of New York, Kill Bill, and Shakespeare in Love. However, as these events unfold, it seems that his pertinence is on the decline, with many notables publically shunning him and others like him.
People are speaking out. The Weinstein scandal opened the floodgates to a long and chequered history of the powerful in Hollywood abusing their power to fulfil their deviant sexual appetites. People started coming out of their shell to add their voice to the common belief that all is not well in tinsel town.
Most recently, Kevin Spacey and Louis CK have been accused of sexual misconduct, and that led to a thorough boycott of all the shows they were involved in. Netflix cancelled House of Cards, and Louis CK faced a huge amount of backlash from the liberals, most of whom felt betrayed in a certain way. However, the fact remains that sexual abuse cuts across party lines, and patriarchy does not distinguish between Republicans and Democrats.
The recent series of events brings us to this question. Is it simply a trend, one in which everyone jumps on the bandwagon of feminism for publicity’s sake, or is this phenomenon here to stay?
Hollywood is plagued by many problems. The gender gap is prevalent in all areas, and there is a notable underrepresentation of women in the big screen. In most cases, women have been simply used as instruments to further the storyline of the male protagonists. It is common knowledge that rampant abuse of power exists in this industry, and Hollywood, at its very best, indulges only in armchair activism.
However, on the other hand, it is evident that people are speaking out against these malpractices more commonly. All those who were lambasted not a long while ago, for speaking out against misuse of power, are now being vindicated. Sexual misconduct is finally being talked about with the seriousness it deserves, and if the recent spate of female protagonists is any indication, the world of Hollywood is changing for the better.
It seems the winds of change have arrived, and it is up to the present generation to set sail. As long as the conversation is going, we have a chance to destroy the menace once and for all. If Hollywood becomes an active proponent of gender equality, not only in their words but also in their art, then the effect it will have on the public psyche will be immense.
One can only hope that in time, Hollywood becomes a shining beacon of hope for the rest of the world to emulate. Until then however, it is imperative to carry on the collective fight against inequalities of any kind.