Me Too – We Hear You

October 17th, 2017

Watching and reading all of the “Me too” posts that have trickled out onto our newsfeeds over the last forty-eight hours has given me a lot to think about.

It is so disheartening (though not surprising) to know so many women have been made to suffer, often in silence, at the hands of men. You are heard and you are believed. And we have to do better, full stop. This online campaign to generate awareness on the extent and severity of the problem is a wonderful place to start, but given just how prominent these kinds of shitty and undeserved harassment and assault are, it isn’t enough.

As a male (particularly a straight, white one), I think we need to do our part to be allies to women that say “me too” – that we too will do our part to try and end sexist culture. If we think of this as someone else’s problem to solve , then we are part of the problem.

As someone who works in a corner of an “entertainment industry,” what I often find frustrating is that decisions are rarely analyzed in terms of good or bad, right or wrong. Rather, they are framed as good looks or bad looks – optics before ethics. Speaking out can be seen as inconvenient, risky or unnecessary. My guess is that many other industries are the same—but there is a spotlight on ours right now, and for good reason.

This kind of shitty behaviour needs to be confronted right away, by the people surrounding the offenders. Looking the other way or trying to rationalize questionable behaviour or comments instead of calling it out is never ok, even if doing so might make things more difficult personally or professionally.

So that’s my pledge, to stir shit up – in email chains and meetings, at concerts and with our partners: managers, agents, collaborators, directors, producers and touring crew.

No one should get away with saying or doing something abusive because they are good at their job, or because they simply have enough power that the people below them are scared to confront them on their objectionable actions. And I will do my best not to let it happen. I hope you will too.

As the old adage goes (I think it’s from Dante’s Inferno): “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.'”

Onward and upward,