The recent avalanche of sexual harassment allegations made against various members of the film industry has shaken Hollywood and the rest of the world to its very core.
At the same time, though, it has provoked actors, directors, producers, and studio heads to finally take stock and work on making a permanent change to the institutionalized sexism that allowed such a scandal to unfold, and also be kept hidden.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to talk to legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer about his latest film “12 Strong.” During our conversation I turned the topic to the recent sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood, asking whether there has been a response from those in the industry.
“I think there has been a response. The outrage from my colleagues and everyone else, there is a strong movement that can produce change.”
But Bruckheimer doesn’t believe that it’s just Hollywood that needs to change, and he has called for the rest of the world to take action, too.
“The way I look at it is every industry, every walk of life has blemishes. Hollywood is no different. The only difference with Hollywood is that everything we do is on the front page of the papers.”
“There’s the same types of behavior in a lot of other industries, but you don’t read about it. So hopefully there will be a change in the world not just in Hollywood.”
While there’s been a huge outcry from those in the film industry about the scandal, the likes of Jerry Bruckheimer and other producers and studios heads across Hollywood are going to need to put their money where their mouths are in order to actually make a difference.
This can be achieved with more diverse casting, and by greenlighting and funding projects from more women and people of different ethnicities, which will help to enrich a culture that has long been stagnated by white males.
Something that Natalie Portman helped to point out with her delicious remark when presenting the Best Director gong at the Golden Globes on Sunday.
Jerry Bruckheimer and director Nicolai Fuglsig have actually already taken a small step in that direction with “12 Strong,” which tells the story of how US Special Forces joined together with Afghan troops in the immediate wake of 9/11 to fight against the Taliban.
“12 Strong” is released on January 19.