“Me Too” sparks much-needed dialogue

Joanne Jun

After the past few months, it seems as though every woman in America and across the world came forward with a story of sexual harassment in the workplace and daily life. Celebrities and activists alike brought awareness to a subject that, for many years, has been tucked away. Shedding light on harassment and gender inequality has been the focus of many awards shows and movies in recent months and is a topic that has been long overdue to the countless survivors.

Me Too has encouraged women to tell their stories through the silver screen. Laura Dern, famous for her role in “Big Little Lies,” stars in upcoming film “The Tale,” following a woman’s healing and hurting after she experiences sexual abuse at age thirteen. Told from a later stage in her life, she represses the events to avoid facing the realities of the abuse. Though “The Tale” was not a by-product of the Weinstein allegations—the film had been in production for six years prior to Weinstein’s fall from grace—it is being released at a critical time in American history where multiple elite men and women have been accused of sexual harassment. Jennifer Fox, the film’s director and inspiration chose to release the film amid the rise of the Me Too Movement. Fox, among others, have told her story in hopes of raising awareness of the situation at hand.

The Me Too Movement has significantly impacted Hollywood in more ways than one. More women are being recognized at award ceremonies, the most notable example being the 75th Golden Globe Awards. The Golden Globes featured the Time’s Up initiative, representing how the time for harassment and silence is over. Virtually every person at the Golden Globes wore the pin to stand in solidarity for all of the survivors. In addition to the pins, many women skipped out on the usual significant-other-as-dates to bring activists in the female community, including Tarana Burke (brought by Michelle Williams), who created the Me Too Movement in 2006. The upcoming Academy Awards showcases the talents of a variety of women in the industry, not simply for acting. For the first time in the Academy’s ninety year history, Rachel Morrison became the first female cinematographer to receive a nomination for her work in “Mudbound”, which features African-American female director and screenwriter Dee Rees. Rees is also the first African-American woman to be nominated for a directing award.

The Me Too Movement opened the doors for dozens of women, and has illuminated the inequalities between Caucasians and people of color. In a predominately white male industry, the Me Too Movement gave rise for minorities to share their stories, whether they relate to racism or harassment or not. The 90th Academy Awards will feature one of the most diverse Oscar awards nomination pods in recent years. Leading the pack is “Get Out”, which features African-American nominees Daniel Kaluuya and Jordan Peele. Alongside Kaluuya and Peele is Guillermo del Toro, a Latino director whose movie “The Shape of Water” was nominated for a whopping thirteen awards, the most for any film this year. The Me Too Movement is a clear example that the need for representation is very real, and that all stories must be heard.

In the age of Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein, the Me Too Movement has been an inspiration to Hollywood to promote awareness of sexual harassment and no story should go unheard.