#Metoo exploded onto the world stage in the Autumn of 2017 with half a million people engaging with the movement on twitter in the space of 24 hrs of its conception. Triggering the movement were the accusations made against indie film mogul, Harvey Weinstein. The case evolved to become #Metoo’s flag ship, with Harvey Weinstein fired from the company he built with-in a week of the allegations first publishing. He is currently involved in court preceding’s, denying three counts of rape and sexual assault, being granted $1 million bail.
The movement charged on, toppling an assortment of notable men in an assortment of vocations; politicians to tech-heads, no-one was spared. After Weinstein, came House of Cards protagonist Kevin Spacey, leading him to be dropped from the show. In April of this year it was revealed that the once widely beloved and outwardly endearing Bill Cosby, was actually a Quaalude carrying sex fiend, and has now been put behind bars for three to ten years on top of a fine of $25,000. Very saddening to hear that people capable of bringing so much enjoyment were also capable of being so monstrous.
With the media storm swirling around these successes have there actually been any concrete changes to the wider entertainment industry, or society more broadly? The black activist Tarana Burke who pioneered the #MeToo campaign stated: "If we keep on 'making statements' and not really doing the work, we are going to be in trouble."
MeToo has been a defibrillative shock of feminism straight to the heart of entertainment industry.
Hollywood is still in a state of turbulence, though there have been some clear signs that the wind is on the turn. Equity, a 43,000-strong British actors’ union have seen a strong link between the #Metoo movement in the increasing number of requests for specialist training in healthy and respectful conduct in the workplace, a trend that doesn’t seem to be so strongly replicated in other industry sectors. Within the industry there has been a cultural, seismic shift with a zero-tolerance policy on any kind of misconduct. No longer will it be the industry standard to turn a blind eye.
The Time's Up Legal Defence Fund was launched by over 300 actresses, writers and directors, helping raise £15 million in its first month to fund the legal assistance of survivors, with a prioritisation of from lower wage, non-traditional, and QUILTBAG+ and other minority backgrounds.
The Movement has led to the film industry taking a new direction with the very scripts and characters we see before us.
The Movement has led to the film industry taking a new direction with the very scripts and characters we see before us. The “Russ & Roger Go Beyond” (Nicknamed ‘the King of Sexploitation’); a biopic of the late film director Russ Meyer, 10 years in the making and starring Will Ferrell and Josh Gad was axed over-night after the Weinstein News began to circulate.
The director of “Harry potter and the cursed Child” felt that the #Metoo movement has impacted on the way the public perception, often leading to a focused gaze on the all to often over looked characters such as Ginny Weasley in the hit Broadway production, as a strong woman, independent of her famously scarred Romeo. The writing of the production saw no alteration, but the public perception has and that fundamentally has changed the discourse surrounding it.
MeToo has been a defibrillative shock of feminism straight to the heart of entertainment industry, shaking and old decrepit skin from its bones reiving it anew, leading the way for other industries in a real and tangible way, reconstructing our places of work from the inside out.