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After Woody Allen admitted that he felt sorry for Harvey Weinstein and warned of a “witch-hunt atmosphere” for men in Hollywood as multiple women were coming forward about their alleged perpetrators, actress Olivia Munn fired back at the director in a candid essay published Thursday for Entertainment Weekly.
Munn, who was one of six women to allege sexual misconduct at the hands of Brett Ratner, addressed Allen’s fearful “gut instinct” that “every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.”
“The possibility of an overcorrection is much less worrisome than all of the injustices that led us to this moment,” Munn wrote. “Woody’s gut instinct to fear what this might become would be better suited to a gut instinct to hold back an urge that could be wrong.”
After publicly sharing her experience with Ratner, Munn wrote of her saddening realization that victims must be “broken first” in order for abusers to suffer consequences. “The violating act alone is not damaging enough to spark society’s outrage. It’s a marathon towards self-destruction in order to gain credibility and a vicious circle of victim-blaming,” she wrote.
Munn attributed blame to a “system” that is complicit with the inappropriate actions “people at the top” inflict on their targets: “The system that lets men like Ratner and Allen back in is the same system that creates disparity. It’s tilted to roll back into their favor while the rest of us are saddled with a Sisyphean task.”
The actress used an analogy comparing Hollywood to a mountain built on power. “Imagine Hollywood as a mountain with all of the powerful people positioned at the top. The rest of us have to push a boulder up this hill while running through numerous gauntlets and any abuse we encounter is just par for the course and accepted,” the actress wrote. “I know it’s acceptable abuse because no matter how badly certain people fucked up, they fall right back to their position of power while most people have to go to the back of the line and earn their way back up.”
Munn argued that the current climate should not be seen as a “women’s issue” but rather an “abuse-of-power issue” that needs to be eradicated, also saying there needs to be a “zero-tolerance policy” for assaulters who can be threatened by “actionable consequences.” The actress emphasized the importance of CEOs and bosses enforcing “equal pay” as a way to prevent women from feeling inferior.
Feeling empowered to be an advocate for change and share her voice, Munn warns those at the top to embrace unity rather than division: “If you’re already at the top or on your way there, please don’t hold us back anymore. Instead, stand with the rest of us — because the glass ceiling that hangs over me is the same glass ceiling that will hang over your daughters, sisters, nieces.”
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