Last night, Black Mirror director and actress Jodie Foster and actress Rosemarie DeWitt took the stage as part of the New York Times' TimesTalks series. Joined by veteran Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni, they chatted about some of the most pressing issues facing the entertainment industry today — though, as Foster notes, "it's not just in movies, it's everywhere."
The issues are, of course, sexual harassment and assault. Hollywood kicked off the national conversation with the Times' story about Harvey Weinstein, and the reckoning has spread to a myriad of worlds. But the question we all face is, what happens next?
Foster's vision of the future, post-#MeToo, is simple. "Women just going to work, every day, doing their jobs, and going home," she says, and we definitely agree that's the future we all want. It's so simple, but startlingly difficult to achieve because, as DeWitt noted, men in power feel entitled to women's "youth, beauty, intelligence."
Foster also acknowledges that this moment is painful, too. "It hurts. It's painful, it's not comfortable, but we need go to through this," she says. Because on the other side, she says, "we'll hopefully have a long, national group therapy session about sexual harassment that we've never had before."
She then added that we've still never had that conversation about race, and the effects of that still reverberate today. "With race, the law was changed, but we didn't talk about it, we didn't deal with it. And that's why it's still an issue today. We have a chance now to do things differently, and I hope we use that chance."
Ultimately, Foster believes that communication, not technology, will lead the way into ensuring a more equal future. In directing an episode of Black Mirror, Foster loves that she gets to explore our culture's unease with technological advances, but when it comes to real-life, nothing will help more than an old-fashioned consciousness-raising session about the things that hurt us most.
You can watch the full TimesTalks below; the action gets started around the 13:40 mark. We suggest playing in the background like you're listening to a podcast.