The MeToo revolution promised to change Hollywood … and the culture … for good.
No longer could abusive men run wild without facing serious consequences. Producer Harvey Weinstein fell first, but he was quickly followed by Kevin Spacey, director Brett Ratner, Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer and more.
They even made a TV show about MeToo cancellations, the celebrated Apple TV+ drama “The Morning Show.”
Except the MeToo movement made serious unforced errors. The cause overreached in near tragic ways, and its most vocal proponents applied a progressive filter to its efforts.
- Accused Democrat? Look the other way (see Cuomo, Biden and more)
- Accused Republican? Release the hounds (no matter how flimsy the evidence)
Podcaster Megyn Kelly brought up both MeToo and the latest charges against low-rated CNN anchor Don Lemon on her SiriusXM showcase. Variety published a piece detailing allegations against Lemon, from “diva-like” behavior to charges his recent anti-women comments date back several years.
Lemon strenuously denies the allegations and CNN offered little clarity on the subject.
Kelly suggests the same movement meant to stop guilty people no longer has the weight it once did. In short, it’s back to normal, and that’s not good news.
She recounted the Lemon allegations on “The Megyn Kelly Show” podcast and brought up similar, behind-the-scenes headlines from her Fox News days. Kelly has said Fox News CEO Roger Ailes sexually harassed her, while other ex-employees accused Ailes of similar crimes.
The scandal fueled the Oscar-nominated 2019 movie “Bombshell.” Ailes passed away in 2017.
Kelly says prior to MeToo, when powerful men were accused of a sexual crime the powers-that-be protected them.
“The women, up until the MeToo movement, always lost, always lost. Then MeToo was totally an overreach and got disgusting and weird and political. We started just emerging with scalps without any probing or facts, and it fell apart thanks to the Left, frankly, and what they did to [Brett] Kavanaugh and Time’s Up,” Kelly said.
The latter refers to the failed organization’s allegiance with accused abuser Gov. Andrew Cuomo and inability to defend alleged victims like Tara Reade. The former staffer of then-Sen. Joe Biden claims the Democrat sexually attacked her in 1993.
“We’re back to where we started … the progress has been eroded. The MeToo movement has been exploded and women really have nowhere to turn. You can leave the set in tears after being screamed at by [Lemon], who I bet has a long HR personnel file, and they just say, ‘re-educating training, bye.’ Not good enough.”
Kelly’s take has merit given recent revelations from several women.
Actress Grace Van Dien of “Stranger Things” fame admitted she turned her back on Hollywood after several gross experiences involving male colleagues.
She accused a former boss of requesting a threesome with her, and now she focuses her energies on her Twitch streaming channel.
She’s not alone.
Model-turned-actress Emily Ratajkowski found sizable roles in “Gone Girl,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Entourage, but she told the LA Times she fired her acting team three years ago.
“I didn’t trust them. I was like, ‘I can handle receiving phone calls. I’m gonna make these decisions. None of you have my best interest at heart. And you all hate women.’”
Australian actress Mia Wasikowska has a less than flattering take on Hollywood in the post-MeToo era.
The “Alice in Wonderland” star told the Sydney Morning Herald last year why she left the industry is now works in independent features.
“I think you would be hard-pressed to find any young woman who hasn’t experienced a level of abuse or inappropriate experiences or behavior towards them.”
Actress Heather Graham of “Boogie Nights” fame says the changes happening within the industry have been minimal despite MeToo’s efforts.
The sexism remains the same.
“I feel like nothing has changed drastically. More people care, but it’s not suddenly equal. It’s still pretty sexist, to be honest. Every phase of the business, whether it’s financing, distribution, the reviewers, all those people are mostly men. To get a female driven story that is appealing mostly to women through all these levels of male-dominated business, it’s not that easy.”
Weinstein is gone. So, too, are some powerful men who preyed on women for decades. The system, alas, may still have plenty of scoundrels.