In a series of recent tweets, actress Constance Wu expressed her opposition to the Academy for nominating Casey Affleck for an Oscar.
Casey Affleck has received extensive praise for his performance in Manchester by the Sea. However, in 2010 he was accused of sexual harassment by a producer and director of photography who worked with him on the film I’m Still Here. Affleck reached out-of-court settlements with both women.
Wu believes that by nominating Affleck that Hollywood is supporting the "industry's gross and often hidden mistreatment of women".
In a Twitter post she wrote: "Men who sexually harass women for Oscar! Because good acting performance matters more than humanity, human integrity! Because poor kid really needs the help! Boys"
In another post, she said: "Buy your way out of trouble by settling out of court! Just do a good acting job, that's all that matters! Because art isn't about humanity, right?"
And then perhaps the most prolific tweet of all: "I've been counseled not to talk about this for career's sake. For my career then, I'm a woman and human first. That's what my craft is built on."
You’ll Never Work in This Town Again
This isn’t the first time that Hollywood has been called out for behavior.
Mila Kunis spoke out against sexism in the workplace with a potent essay describing what happened to her when she refused to pose semi-naked for a men's magazine to promote a movie. She described her personal experience in standing up to a producer because she didn’t want to pose semi-nude in a photo. Kunis was told her career would end if she didn’t do what he wanted.
When she refused, a producer told her, “You’ll never work in this town again.”
Corey Feldman has also spoken out about the alleged child sex abuse he suffered alongside his friend Corey Haim – divulging information about how they were invited to parties where adult men attempted to befriend them.
Roman Polanski was charged in 1977 with five offences, including raping, drugging and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl. He was convicted of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and then fled the US to escape jail time. Yet, he received an Oscar for best director in 2003.
Jennifer Lawrence has also spoken out against the disparity in salaries between men and women and let’s not forget last year’s #OscarsSoWhite because many believe that Hollywood still undervalues African-American talent.
Whew. Racism. Sexism. Sexual Harassment. That’s not great stuff.
Call It For What It Is
We all remember well Meryl Streep's recent acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes. In an emotional speech, she called out President Trump for his antics.
Actress Ashley Judd also spoke out again President Trump at the powerful Women’s march last weekend. You remember “Pussygate”, right? There was outrage when we learned that Donald Trump, the then Republican nominee, felt that it was okay to “Grab them (women) by the p---y.” Because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” In a video obtained by The Washington Post, Trump boasted in loutish terms about kissing and groping women.
She firmly stated: “Our p—ies ain’t for grabbing,” “Our p—ies are for our pleasure and they are for birthing new generations… of nasty women.”
The Question Becomes
Is Hollywood ignoring Affleck’s sexual harassment allegations because I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary.
I mean, come on, he’s up for an Oscar.
We love the movie industry. It takes us to faraway places in a time when the news, or our social media feeds, brings us down. It provides us with a great escape and gives us a couple of hours where we can enjoy life in a time of turmoil.
But I must ask: Where is the same condemnation, disapproval, and commitment to exposing the truth when it comes to alleged abusers within their own community?
Must Constance Wu risk her career to speak out about this abuse?
Anyone? Anyone? I’ll wait for the answer…