In the wake of the damning allegations against Harvey Weinstein, corporate finance expert Nell Minow recounted an experience with actor David Schwimmer.
"I haven’t thought of that since it happened but the Weinstein stories made me not just remember it but remember it in an entirely different context as an indicator of the prevalence of predatory behavior and as an indicator of Schwimmer’s integrity and sensitivity," Minow told James Warren of Poynter.org.
Minow interviewed Schwimmer in 2010 for his film Trust, a thriller about internet predation. They met in a hotel restaurant — the same place Harvey Weinstein met many of his accusers — and the restaurant grew noisy. Schwimmer suggested they move up to his room. Aware of how it looked, he then asked Minow if she'd like a third person present.
"This wasn’t just about his being a good guy who would not have tried anything," Minow added. "He understood what it is like to have to be constantly on the alert and he wanted to make sure I understood I was safe."
By asking her if she was comfortable, Schwimmer acknowledged that being a woman in any industry can be terrifying. If he hadn't, and had just asked Minow up to his room without a second thought, he might have come off as someone with ill intentions. Warren points out that Schwimmer is proof there are men in Hollywood who understand how to comport themselves professionally.
As allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein continue to mount, the men of Hollywood have an increasing responsibility to step forward. Many, including Ryan Gosling and George Clooney, have publicly condemned Weinstein's actions. Some have gone a step further. Filmmaker Kevin Smith pledged to donate $2,000 a month for the rest of his life to Women in Film, a nonprofit dedicated to boosting gender equality in film.
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