Hollywood 2.0: How Harvey Weinstein inspired the industry’s makeover

Sara Varela


We’ve all seen the news: Harvey Weinstein is a serial rapist.

For those who may not be up to date, let’s do a quick recap: Weinstein, an academy award winner Hollywood producer, was first accused of sexual harassment by over a dozen women back in early October. For the past month and a half, over 80 women in the film industry have come forward to accuse him as well.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Hollywood or any other big industry. We all remember Bill Cosby. But something this time around is different. Weinstein awoke a desire for change and justice that has never come afloat before.

Over the first two weeks of the Weinstein’s scandal we witnessed his fall, an unprecedented turn of events for a case like this. He was first fired from his own production company, Miramax, later suspended by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences.

Adding to that, criminal investigations against the producer opened up in Los Angeles, New York and London.

Weinstein’s fall into disgrace, shame and repulsion inspired women, and men, within Hollywood to come forward against many other top executives and famous actors, among them comedian Louis C.K, Oscar winners Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman, Director Brett Ratner, and several more.

But the ‘Weinstein Effect,’ as many are calling it, isn’t only reshaping Hollywood. It has gone global.

In many countries, including India, France, Canada, Italy, Peru and many others, the Weinstein scandal inspired women to come forward against very powerful men.

But the Weinstein Effect isn’t different just because inspired a large group of accusations against powerful men. It’s different because this time the accused are feeling the consequences for their despicable acts.

Just as it happened to Weinstein, those who have been accused of any type of sexual misconduct have suffered from the same consequences as he did.

Spacey’s career in practically over after Netflix cut all ties with the actor and was replaced in his upcoming movie by director Ridley Scott, who will reshoot all the scenes Spacey was in. Same goes for Ratner, who will not be renewing his deal with Warner Bros.

The fall is quite similar for all of them. Studios, production companies, streaming services, networks – all are severing ties to any and all men accused of sexual misconduct.

Without anyone knowing, Weinstein inspired a revolution within Hollywood. The extensive media coverage has helped as well.

For the first time in a very long time, women have been given a voice and a place to point their finger to men who have taken advantage of their title, wealth, and entourage to abuse others without facing a insufferable amount of backlash and insults.

Women are being heard, not judged – for the most part anyway – and that’s a good sign.

This scandal has obviously opened up a discussion on sexual harassment but it hasn’t been the only one. It has sparked conversations on equal pay and women empowerment as well.

Many believe that there are ways to eradicate sexual harassment from Hollywood and everywhere. Basically, it all comes down to guaranteeing equal pay and benefits for men and women. Giving the same power of men to women would reduce drastically the numbers of incidents for one simple reason.

The abuser would not have complete control over their victim; the victim would not doubt to speak out because they have the same power. Women would not be an easy, vulnerable target.

Given the developments of the past couple months, there is a big ray of light illuminating Hollywood and is allowing for a complete makeover of an industry dominated by mighty, old men and turning it into a place where everybody, men and women, are respected and valued the same way. And most importantly, where everybody, regardless of their position, name, or anything else, is held accountable for their actions.

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