One Year After #MeToo Shook Hollywood, the Fight Rages on (Column)

For good reason, Variety selected Tarana Burke as one of our five Power of Women, New York, honorees this past spring. At our celebratory luncheon, she received three standing ovations. The founder of the #MeToo movement had put her now-12-year-old organization on the map a year ago next month after Harvey Weinstein was outed by The New York Times and The New Yorker as an alleged sexual predator. #MeToo gave survivors (Burke balks at the term “victims”) an enormous public platform from which to voice accusations of sexual abuse by one of the industry’s most powerful movie moguls.

Over the year since those accusations first engulfed Weinstein, who has been banished from the business and is facing potential jail time, #MeToo and great investigative journalism have played a pivotal role in helping survivors speak their truths about sexual misconduct. With the added aid of the anti-harassment group Time’s Up, many other influential men in entertainment and media — including most recently CBS leader Les Moonves — have fallen off their perches.

When we decided to devote this week’s edition to examining what Hollywood has and hasn’t done to help eliminate the sexual abuse epidemic gripping the industry, I thought no one would be better to write the cover story than Tarana Burke. Mind you, it’s not our practice to permit non-staffers to author cover stories.

But Burke had earned the right.

In her poignant essay, she remains skeptical about how much has changed over the past year for the survivors of sexual violence “Some might see the cases of Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves as bookends to this year,” Burke writes. “But look closer and you’ll find at both the beginning and the end are survivors and allies refusing to stay silent while people in power inflict harm without recourse. … We’ve just scratched the surface.” Another of my favorite passages: “It’s no secret that Hollywood runs off power, privilege and access, and because of that it is important in this moment to also examine the ways that unchecked privilege and power accumulate and are wielded against the most vulnerable.”

More Biz

  • Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head

    Terry Wakefield Exits Sony/ATV to Head Up A&R at UMPG Nashville

    After a decades-long tenure at Sony/ATV Nashville, Terry Wakefield has followed another alumnus, Troy Tomlinson, across town to take a top position at Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville. Wakefield is senior VP of A&R at UMPG after having been senior VP of creative in his previous post. Personal loyalty to Tomlinson, UMPG Nashville’s recently named chairman/CEO, [...]

  • Sally Williams at PBS Country Music

    Sally Williams to Leave Longtime Opry Home for Top Post at Live Nation in Nashville

    Nashville executive Sally Williams is leaving Opry Entertainment, where she rose to the top over a two-decade tenure there, to join Live Nation’s regional office as the president of Nashville music and business strategy, the company announced Monday. Live Nation said Williams will not only lead programming and marketing for their concerts in the area, [...]

  • Fourward

    Management Company Fourward Taps Christopher Burbidge as Head of Talent Division

    Will Ward’s management company Fourward has promoted long-time colleague Christopher Burbidge to head the company’s rapidly growing talent division, while also promoting Brooke Blann to manager in the company’s music division. Both Blann and Burbidge are based in the company’s Los Angeles office and will continue to report directly to Ward. Burbidge works closely on [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Kaplan Stahler Agency Signs Modified Code of Conduct in Win for WGA

    Kaplan Stahler has become the latest agency to sign the Writers Guild of America’s (WGA) modified code of conduct in a win for the Guild. In a message sent out to WGA members today, the negotiating committee wrote that the agreement with Kaplan Stahler “bans packaging fees and agency-affiliated production companies and, through information-sharing, makes [...]

  • London's CODA Agency Formally Becomes a

    Paradigm Agency Formally Absorbs London's CODA Into the Fold

    After five years of working together, London’s CODA Agency has formally become a part of Paradigm and will continue under its U.S. partner’s banner. The London office of what is now a fully integrated Paradigm will continue to be led by Alex Hardee, Tom Schroeder, James Whitting and Dave Hallybone. In a statement otherwise laden [...]

  • WGA Agents Dispute Placeholder

    Agencies Seek to Hold Key Court Hearing Before WGA Elections

    The four major agencies asked a court on Monday to expedite a key hearing in the Writers Guild of America lawsuit, as the agencies seek to have portions of the case thrown out before the WGA’s internal elections in September. The WGA and the unions are still waging a legal and public relations battle over [...]

  • Sonja Plack Cocaine Possession

    'The Chi' Actress Sonja Sohn Arrested on Cocaine Possession Charge

    Sonja Sohn, the actress who appears on “The Chi,” was arrested over the weekend in North Carolina on a charge of cocaine possession. Sohn, best known for portraying Det. Kima Greggs on “The Wire,” was booked and released from the Dare County Detention Center in Manteo, N.C., according to a statement from the Dare County [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content