This year has seen what we can only hope will prove to be a watershed moment for how sexual harassment and assault is handled across all industries. As actors, actresses, and many others have broken their silence about abuse, the world is taking the issue more seriously than ever.
In November, Olivia Munn was one of six women who accused director Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct in a story in the Los Angeles Times (Ratner disputes the claims). Now, Munn has penned an essay for Entertainment Weekly about the pervasive problem facing Hollywood and other industries—and how to begin the long process of fixing it.
Munn began her essay powerfully, taking on statements made by Woody Allen following the allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein:
She also perfectly encapsulated the problem faced by many victims of assault and harassment:
Munn goes on to explain her own experiences as a woman in Hollywood and the challenges that women, people of color, and other marginalized communities often face when trying to get ahead in a system that's catered to the desires of white men.
"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," Munn wrote, getting to the heart of the problem and calling on those at the top to be allies in making room for more diverse representation among executives, CEOs, and other leadership positions.
Munn's essay, which is full of smart points and spot-on analogies, is worth a read.
Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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