The Ugly Truth
Get ready for a rant. This will probably be my most personal post ever, but I feel the need to add my voice to the conversation about the #metoo movement and the film industry.
Because people have often said to me about my costume career, “Wow, your job looks so glamorous. It must be so much fun. Do you ever get to meet the actors?”.
I also imagine people thinking, “Why would you leave the film industry? It’s so exciting, so cool”, etc.
From my perspective, it’s a bit of both good and bad. It’s true, there is some glamour, fun and excitement. But there is a very ugly underbelly that is now being exposed in the media, and that’s a good thing.
I’ve shared some of the good with you, like my experience of being nominated for an Emmy, and the fun, exciting trip I took to the awards ceremony in September 2018.
That is a truth about the business as well, and it’s not a pretty sight.
This article in Glamour magazine lists the men who have been accused of sexual misconduct since the movement began.
It’s a growing list and unfortunately most of the names on that list come from the entertainment industry.
Some of those names I know and have personally worked with, and with some I’ve had personal experience of their bad behaviour.
I’ve worked with on 2 Miramax projects. Women who had worked with Weinstein on other productions made sure to let me and other women know that the ‘rumours’ were true, and that he was not a safe person to be with alone.
I had my own experience with Morgan Freeman during a costume fitting that turned very creepy with inappropriate hair touching. It was very uncomfortable and left me a bit shocked. I spent as little time with him as possible.
Not only was he abusive and degrading to the women on the crew, he had a non-stop stream of shady characters, both male and female, constantly stopping by for “visits” to his trailer.
Not a sexually abusive person, but certainly one of the most verbally abusive people I’ve ever known. When he had a problem or dispute with the costume designer or his dresser, his tactic was to get the woman alone in his trailer or dressing room and then scream at them to the point of tears. Her tears. This happened twice with two different colleagues of mine on two different productions.
Even though the #MeToo movement is about sexual abuse, I think there are more men in the industry who are verbally abusive. These men take advantage of their power to threaten women’s jobs and their livelihood.
On the last production I worked on, a senior producer told a room full of seasoned professionals (both men and women, most in their 40’s and 50’s) in a big meeting that he was now their “parent”. He stated that we would do whatever he said, because he was now our “parent” for this production, and he knew best. Needless to say, he didn’t.
My head was swimming for days after that one.
I’ve had a ton of amazing experiences in film. I have worked with some phenomenally creative and talented people and have learned a lot about putting together a creative project or business.
There are also a lot of truly amazing men in the industry. Men I love to collaborate and work with. Men who will stand up for their co-workers and are strong voices against abuse.
But, I know I have more to offer in a role where I can support other women to stand up, be strong, and to create their own future.
The world needs more women like you and me.
Create your own vision of success, with all the drama and excitement that you want.