#MeToo Won’t Change Anything
Why bother when the media always moves on?
Piers Morgan believes that Hollywood will never change its “morally repugnant” ways. And, as someone who has been alive for almost thirty years, I've seen enough to believe that as well. Starting off with a problematic example instead of sexual assault, do you remember Conan O’Brien versus Jay Leno?
Eight years ago, Leno was to give O’Brien his show. In the next year, NBC wanted to give it back to Leno. It was the epitome of embarrassing P.R. moves. With the way celebrities were acting, you’d think Leno killed O’Brien and preceded to wear his face. Viewers were just confused; the outrage was from those whose livelihood depended on these men. They were downright polarized! “I’m with Coco” and whatever anyone said about Leno — has anyone ever cared about Leno? — were the rallying cries of celebrities as they demanded viewers join in. A few months and a veritable smörgåsbord of up-in-arms celebrities later, Conan moved to TBS. Then, as if it had never happened at all, they went back to being interviewed by the two men. Nothing changed. And it’s been the same for instances like this and for those that are far more serious.
While a small-time example, this is Hollywood’s MO. The problem is big and scary and awful like any of the examples Piers Morgan mentioned in his article. Then, as quickly as they came into the spotlight, they vanish. Their outrage vanishes too, as they go back to talking about how “genius” these known predators are to work with. Seeming to completely forget the horrible circumstances the men placed countless women through.
Has Hollywood changed with #MeToo ?
To answer that question, we need to talk about Bill Cosby. Allegations against him were a joke in the mainstream media for years, but it seemed too far-fetched for viewers. When the news broke of his past transgressions, the world seemed to take notice. Cosby’s abuse had been going on for so long and he wasn't a behind the scenes type. No, this was a well-known man who starred in a show that perfectly encapsulated the idyllic period of the 1980’s and 1990’s. It didn't feel like before: no one was letting this go. Cosby was being held accountable. The victims deserved justice! Then, it ended in mistrial in July of 2017. The predator was free and it felt like there was nothing to change it.
Much like Cosby, when women came forward about Weinstein, the world took notice in a different way. Then, it wasn’t just women coming forward about Weinstein, but about being victims of others in power. As more and more women came forward, so did men. This is important. It does not negate what these women have been through, but proves that it can happen to anyone. Weinstein’s company fired him and his wife left him. This time the predator was answering for his crimes. It seems that, so far, all aspects of these stories have changed the landscape of popular media. Yet, there are still known predators being swept under the red carpet.
I would love to say this situation is different, but it isn't. Time and time again celebrities view these sexual allegations as a “big deal” but they just want to be topical. It’s their job to be heard. It’s their job to be in the limelight. It’s their job because we made it that way.
This doesn't mean we should let this go. Countless people have come forward about abuse from those in positions of power. It doesn't matter that Kate Winslet and other celebrities move on from this. It matters that everyone else doesn't. We need to keep this going. Others need to be held accountable as well.
The media blames those who aren't speaking out about Hollywood’s transgressions. Let it be clear: the fault lies with the men and women who abuse their power. The precedent has been set: predators are now held accountable more so than ever before. Being fired isn't enough: Weinstein has been skirting prison for far too long. Don’t drop this. Don’t let this go. Don’t let the shift in conversation sway you.
#MeToo won’t change anything. We have to change everything.
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