The #metoo movement reveals the difficulties of the acting industry
Before I decided I wanted to be a journalism major, I thought about being an actress my junior year of high school. I have a very clear memory of my mentors telling me that men would ask to sleep with me in exchange for a role.
I was not a fan of that.
I soon realized that this was not the life God was calling me to. It also made me realize how tough the acting industry is. It takes grit to be in that industry, and the #metoo movement shows it.
It all comes down to one thing: favoritism.
Sarah Wilson, a sophomore and an Acting for the Stage and Screen major said, “It’s very true in the sense that every place or company has politics and favorites, but when it actually comes to the business, you don’t necessarily need talent, but you need the connections.”
This creates an environment where men like Harvey Weinstein are able to coerce women into things they don’t want to do because of the power and connections they have.
Hope Luna, a New York University Tisch School of Acting junior, commented on the Weinstein debacle.
“I was not surprised,” Luna said. “The more I learn about the world and the more I learn about capitalism, the more I learn about things that are just disappointing and the necessity of movements come like #metoo.”
Weinstein was recently convicted in New York of third-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault, but was not convicted with some other serious charges, according to USA Today.
“To take down a name like that is a hard thing to do. It will take longer. It’s about the punishment and it’s having a future where we won’t even speak his name. That man will no longer be a part of the industry,” said Luna.
The #metoo movement is meant to make this easier for women; however, the movement itself has had many ups and downs in the industry.
“I don’t actually know what the #metoo movement is. I thought it was a fad so I never actually looked into it,” said Wilson. “Out of nowhere, one of our female teachers brought it up. I keep hearing a negative connotation with the #metoo movement and I truly don’t know what it is.”
According to Harvard Business Review, the #metoo movement was meant to be celebratory, but they were not sure how positively it would be received.
“The #metoo movement and representation is very important to me,” said Luna. “However, some of the biggest supporters of the #metoo movement at first has turned out to not be the best representation.”
The #metoo movement offers resources to people who need healing and want to advocate. They also want to raise awareness of the issues in the workplace. Access to all of this information can be found on their site.
Women have to deal with how much they are paid, their appearance and the fewer roles available to them.
An Atlantic interview with Annie Truex touches on some of these issues, saying, “You can be a chubby guy, and it’s a great look, but there isn’t that equivalent for women. You’re either stick thin or plus size. Everyone’s always on some sort of diet. Everyone’s beautiful. The physical piece of it can get surprisingly exhausting.”
Not everything is hopeless, though.
Wilson hopes to make a change by starting her own company where the company gender-bends classic plays to be impactful.
Strides are being made in the acting industry. The world is slowly transitioning. Roles are becoming more inclusive.
“We always need more artists of different backgrounds who are for social justice and that is just something I love. I mean, we are making history,” said Luna.