The #MeToo Movement and its effect on the cinematic experience
The #MeToo Movement has been extremely prevalent in mainstream media over the last year or two. Ultimately, what has taken affect over the last little while has overthrown Hollywood as we used to know it. Those that were once in power now cannot show their faces in public, or—even further to this—they have been reprimanded for their behaviour. Once it began, a domino effect took over Hollywood, and the film industry as a whole; trying to make sense of what was to become of the film industry. Women, no matter how well known they were in the industry, began to speak out, come together in unity. Earlier this year, numerous actresses and women of the film industry wore black outfits on the red carpet in solidarity, as well as to send a message that this behaviour has seen the end of its tether. It caused a ruckus, not only amongst those in the film industry, but throughout general society as a whole.
Amidst the progressive nature of the movement, the film industry truly felt the brunt with relation to how it would impact the festivals and ceremonies that were to be held. Moreover, it also felt the impact with relation to the movies that had already been created in the past, those that were in the process of being created and those that were set to be created in the not too distant future. What did this mean for potential actors, directors and executives that had been caught in the twister of all of this? What did it mean for the women who spoke out? But, with specific reference to the audience, were/are people able to detach the criminal from the crime in order to still enjoy their creations? Or, rather, does any sort of attachment to a film by someone whom has been accused automatically get shunned from public viewing or adoration.
This notion or idea of detaching the criminal from the crime: is it possible? Are we still allowed to enjoy films made by those who have committed heinous acts and abused their position of power? What if we enjoyed the films before?
Personally, I feel that I unconsciously do detach the criminal from the crime. I have long been a fan of Jeremy Piven (especially his character portrayal of Ari Gold in Entourage). I have always found him alluring, charismatic and transfixing. The day I found out that he was, indeed, to join this long list of misdoers, my initial reaction was one of shock and disgust. Have I stopped watching Entourage, though? Absolutely not. Because, essentially, I subconsciously realise that I love him for his character portrayal in this particular show.
By that same token, there are those that, once outed, I have completely barred. Such as in the case of Kevin Spacey. Granted, I have never been a true fan of his. But hearing the allegations against him was the nail in the coffin. No more Kevin Spacey.
But am I only allowing myself to still watch Jeremy Piven because I previously liked him? And vice versa with Kevin Spacey? I would be interested to know what others think, and how their decisions are justified.