This week, Hollywood continued to vomit up stories of sexual harassment and abuse, but there remains hope for change. Whilst Hollywood still makes me feel nauseous, new projects from marginalised creators around the world are celebrating women of colour and activism. Let’s keep working for better.
Dylan Farrow Speaks On Television About Assault By Woody Allen
For the first time on television, Dylan Farrow has spoken out about being sexually assaulted by her father Woody Allen. Speaking to CBS This Morning, Farrow details what happened and speaks about her ongoing relationship with trauma and the fact that Allen has never been charged for sexual assault.
Farrow has spoken about the assault since she was a child, and wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times in December, questioning why Allen’s career has remained unaffected in the face of the #MeToo movement. Allen continues to deny the claims, but more people are coming forward to apologise for working with him, including Greta Gerwig, Rebecca Hall, and Timothée Chalamet. Hall and Chalamet are donating their salaries from the upcoming Allen film A Rainy Day In New York to the Time’s Up campaign, which seeks to combat sexual assault and harassment within the industry.
The Industry Is Taking Steps To Make Real Change – But Is It Working?
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has developed new anti-sexual harassment guidelines following their ban of Harvey Weinstein. The PGA’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force was formed in October following claims of harassment and assault by Weinstein, and the group has put together guidelines on recognising and combating sexual harassment behaviours, as well as advice for victims, witnesses, and producers.
The PGA is set to work with Time’s Up to tackle harassment and abuse in the industry, but we have yet to see if these guidelines will encourage real change or merely serve as a veneer on the toxic wasteland of Hollywood. But we can have hope. A recent MTV study suggests that since the #MeToo campaign, one in three young men are now thinking more critically about their behaviour towards women. Whilst participants may have answered the poll in ways that they deemed socially acceptable–regardless of any true behavioural or attitude changes–it’s also possible that these slow shifts in Hollywood’s public stance on sexual harassment may filter down and have a positive effect on our wider culture.
Cool Projects From Cool People
A new trailer has dropped for Aami, an upcoming biopic on the life of acclaimed Malayalam writer, Kamala Das. Written and directed by director Kamal and starring Manju Warrier as Das, the film explores Das’ early life, her conversion to Islam, and her career as a feminist writer and memoirist.
New digital comedy series Leimert Park has dropped a promo ahead of its debut at this year’s Sundance. The series is set in south LA and follows three black female friends as they navigate sex, love, and their careers amidst a backdrop of gentrification and uncertainty. The promo is colourful, funny, and relatable, starring Ashley Blaine Featherson, Ashli Haynes, and Asia’h Epperson.
Amazon is developing a television adaptation of Garth Ennis’ popular comic series The Boys. Jessie T. Usher and Nathan Mitchell have just been cast and will be starring alongside Dominique McElligott and Erin Moriarty as characters from superhero group “The Seven.” Usher is set to play A-Train whilst Mitchell will play Black Noir. More details are yet to be announced but the series will be directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen.
- The 2018 NAACP Image Awards took place this week, with winners including Ava DuVernay for Entertainer of the Year, Daniel Kaluuya for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, and Octavia Spencer for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. You can find the full list of winners over on Shadow and Act.
- The 2018 nominees for the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television have been announced, including nominations for The Breadwinner, Ava, and Unarmed Verses. You can find a full list of nominees over on the Academy’s website.
- A new trailer has dropped for the upcoming Tomb Raider adaptation starring Alicia Vikander and Daniel Wu. The film is set for a March release.
- The first look at the season premiere of superhero show Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger features a meet-cute between the show’s lead characters, played by Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt. The show will premiere in June and takes an active approach to issues around representation and activism in television.
- Upcoming mermaid drama series Siren has just released a teaser ahead of its March premiere. Siren looks set to portray a more sinister kind of mermaid, featuring Eline Powell as a mysterious newcomer to a quiet coastal town. The show also features Fola Evans-Akingbola as a marine biologist determined to learn the mermaid’s secrets.