If you're an actor in Hollywood, you're going to be asked about #MeToo. The list of allegations of sexual misconduct, starting with those against producer Harvey Weinstein in October, grows longer every day, and was a hot topic during The Hollywood Reporter's first ever live roundtable that shirked the usually-gendered nature of these get-togethers in favour of a co-ed discussion at West Hollywood’s Quixote Studios on December 7. Bryan Cranston, Armie Hammer, Robert Pattinson, Diane Kruger, Margot Robbie, and Octavia Spencer gathered to discuss many elements of the industry, but when the topic turned to #MeToo, the men let the women do the talking.
"Coming forward is far more complicated than anyone can imagine unless they are in that position," Robbie replied when asked about the people who have used social media to speak up about allegations, and those who have chosen to stay silent. "So I would bear no judgment on anyone who didn’t want to come forward. I would hope that anyone who did knows that they can and be supported 100 percent."
Robbie also says this movement has led to actresses she had never previously met inviting her to be a part of conversations in hopes of changing the industry.
"There is a sense of community, and it’s sad that that had to come out of a horrible situation, but there is a support network there," she said. These conversations are important because of the trickle-down effect they can have in our culture. One conversation leads to another leads to another — which is good, because, as Spencer points out in the interview, it's not just Hollywood. Industries all over are having a reckoning, from restaurants to journalism — workplaces that maybe don't get the same publicity but are facing the same problems.
"The big revelation for me is human resource departments have not been protecting workers; they’ve been protecting companies," she explained. "That has to change, first and foremost."
If the systems that have been put in place to protect women are the very things letting them down, where does that leave us? Right here, and that's where the discussion starts. With women who do have the spotlight taking on these conversations and publicly advocating for change, the culture for women, be they movie stars or working moms, can finally start to shift.
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