Hollywood Men Unveil an Anti-Harassment Initiative of Their Own
With only a few days to go before the 2018 Oscars, men in Hollywood are being more vocal about their support for the #MeToo and Time's Up movements through a brand-new initiative.
A group of industry men, including actors David Arquette and David Schwimmer, co-signed an open letter in The Hollywood Reporter to introduce the #AskMoreOfHim campaign. The goal of the project is to encourage men to use their power and platforms to support survivors of sexual harassment while also combating it.
The letter begins by addressing the many people who have spoken out about their personal experiences with sexual harassment and abuse by men.
"We applaud the courage and pledge our support to the courageous women—and men, and gender non-conforming individuals—who have come forward to recount their experiences of harassment, abuse, and violence at the hands of men in our country," the letter said. "It is never easy for someone who’s been harassed or bullied to speak up, especially when the abuse is sexual. These people are our colleagues and friends. They are fellow artists and craftspeople. They are also our partners, siblings, parents, and children. We are in awe of their strength and commitment to speaking truth to power."
The letter points out that the sentiment, while nice, doesn't cut it.
"But our awe is not enough. As men, we have a special responsibility to prevent abuse from happening in the first place. After all, the vast majority of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence is perpetrated by men, whether in Hollywood or not. And in entertainment—like many industries—men continue to hold most of the decision-making power. Therefore, one of the most powerful things that men can and must do is make it clear to other men—including their friends, colleagues and co-workers—that sexual harassment and abuse are never acceptable. This goes for everything from sexist and degrading comments, right up to domestic violence and sexual assault."
The goal of the letter is to pledge support to victims and to set a new standard for men for speaking out against sexism and holding other men accountable in their daily lives. See the full list of signees here.
The #AskMoreOfMen activism is particularly relevant ahead of the 2018 Oscars red carpet, where Time's Up and #MeToo will be a topic of discussion. The red carpets at awards shows this season have been dominated by actresses and activists making statements on women's rights and fighting abuse, including the all-black dress code of the Golden Globes and the white rose sentiment of the Grammys.
It remains to be seen how #AskMoreOfMen might ignite change for people attending the Academy Awards, but with only two days left to go until the big day, it won't take long to find out.