Last month, actress Olivia Munn, along with five other women, accused director Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct and harassment. Since speaking out about Ratner's alleged sexual misconduct, Munn has seen firsthand that we, as a society, desperately need to change how we treat victims and abusers. Today, she voiced her opinions on what's currently unfolding in Hollywood and the need for a systemic change in a personal essay written for Entertainment Weekly.
In her recently published essay, Munn emphasized the importance of not viewing what is currently going on in Hollywood simply as a "women's issue." When we boil the situation down with that term, we ignore what its causes are. Munn explained, "This is not a 'women's' issue, this is an abuse-of-power issue…and until we eradicate the diseased roots of our infrastructure and make foundational, systemic changes, nothing will change."
From her own persona experience, Munn understands what happens when we don't look at the issue of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct as systemic. Just a few weeks after the actress's accusations of sexual harassment from Brett Ratner were first published by the Los Angeles Times, she spoke again to the publication about how quickly people moved on from her story and how Ratner still has not been held accountable in a proper way. She said, "I'm thankful that we're in this moment where our voices actually matter. But I don’t feel like there’s actually an awakening of consciousness in Hollywood. There’s an understanding that there will be backlash in the marketplace and to their bottom line if they don’t make these big announcements. They aren't woke; they're scared."
So what does Munn propose we do to see that the cycle of abuse is stopped, victims are no longer dismissed or forgotten, and the accused are properly held accountable? In her essay for EW, the actress calls for a "zero-tolerance policy with actionable consequences for sexual assault and any other forms of abuse." With a policy like this in place, perhaps we could make that thing Munn has called "the formula for redemption" no longer effective. Munn also highlighted the need for equal pay among men and women in her essay as a way to communicate that both genders hold equal worth and correct the power imbalance.
Read Olivia Munn's full essay here.