As The MeToo movement has evolved and the film industry is looking for practical ways to ensure that opposition to harassment and abuse leads to concrete improvements. Campaign Group Time’s UpUK is the latest to offer concrete initiatives, and a panel of experts, as well as doctors, teachers and other professional standards authorities, have announced plans to hear complaints. Now, filmmaking staff are often afraid that “if they complain to seniors, they will be devoured,” Time’s Up UK chairman Dame Heather Rabbatts told AFP.
She said the proposed three-person panel would include harassment and abuse experts who could provide “support, mediation, and investigation.” This idea opens up both directions of debate in an attempt to counter those who say that allegations of abuse lead to “cancellation” of people before proper investigation is conducted. “We want to avoid media trials. It doesn’t help anyone,” Labats said. “Independent standards bodies have the highest level of confidentiality and mitigate the problems of those who are treated as guilty until proved innocent.”
The Hollywood Commission, founded in 2017 to combat abuse in the US industry, is working on a similar panel and an anonymous reporting platform for collecting complaints. France has also introduced practical measures, including insurance to cover the cost of production suspensions during the investigation of complaints. Previously, “people screamed, but nothing happened because there was too much money to stop shooting,” said film and gender writer Iris Brey.
Since last year, Center National du Cinema has been conducting training courses on the prevention and detection of sexual harassment. This is a must for any film that has access to a generous French grant. Adding more women to the set is also an important part of the fight. Some companies, including Netflix and Amazon, need diverse department heads to produce before the project turns green. However, there is still a long way to go. Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough won her first film, War Pony, in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival last month.
She told reporters, despite her fame, she and co-director Gina Gammell found it very difficult to raise money. “Many first-time male filmmakers make far more money than first-time female filmmakers,” she said. “There is a deep distrust of women’s leadership position. Maybe it’s not conscious, but I see it happening.”
France’s prolific industry has a particularly high proportion of female directors, but misogyny is still well established, said Reine Pratt, who writes about gender and culture. “There are exceptions to culture,” she told AFP. “This sector allows behavior that is otherwise unacceptable.”
She highlighted Roman Polanski’s Best Work Award at the 2020 Cesar Awards. This is the French version of Oscar. This, in addition to his long-standing belief that he violently raped a 13-year-old girl, despite new rape allegations against him, he continues to flee from justice in the United States. “We talk about separating art from artists, but they were clearly in honor of Polanski himself,” Pratt said. “It was a green light for those who behaved that way.”
The incident caused turmoil, with French actress Adèle Haenel, a victim of director abuse when she was 12 years old, broke out of the ceremony and Cesar’s board resigned in the aftermath. Pratt argues that corruption begins at the pinnacle of French society, pointing out three ministers of the government of President Emmanuel Macron accused of rape.
But to complicate matters, France’s 50/50 Collective, which appeals for gender equality in the film industry, was recently dismantled after a board member was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a meeting. Bray says that real progress needs more radical changes. “Unless you wonder why desires often lead to domination, nothing changes. To question our desires is something that both men and women have to do,” she said. Told. “The film industry forms the image of our sexuality and desires, so it’s very important to have these conversations on the film set.”-AFP