The most noteworthy event in the film industry in the past year was not a film, a performance or a box-office record. It was the raft of claims against one of the most powerful moguls in Hollywood, Harvey Weinstein, who was accused by dozens of actresses and other women of raping them, groping them and other appalling behavior.
The scandal shattered the Weinstein Company, which had been among the most distinguished studios. Headed toward bankruptcy, it was purchased by an investor group composed -- not coincidentally -- mostly of females.
The question now is: Will the glossy people wearing buttons and ribbons be up to the hard work of truly remaking the industry? Or is this a passing fad among people who are eager to claim enlightenment but will lose interest as soon as they're asked to do something concrete?
After all, a lot of the support comes from actors, who are masters at pretending to be something they are not. Some now acknowledge they had some knowledge of Weinstein's treatment of women but kept quiet. Skeptics are entitled to ask if many of the matinee idols are just preening for the cameras.
Frances McDormand, accepting her Oscar for best actress, ended by saying, "I have two words to leave you with tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider." That term refers to contractual language requiring casts and other workers to meet certain representation goals, such as 50 percent women, 40 percent ethnic and racial minorities, and the like. Big name actors negotiating deals can insist on this sort of provision. But will coveted actors actually insist?
We're glad to note the signs that many important people are willing to do more than just strike a flattering pose.
Hollywood's house, which has always glittered on the outside, turns out to have a lot of grime inside. The industry people decrying it should go on speaking, but the real test is in the scrubbing.
Commentary on 03/07/2018
Print Headline: Get the grime out