Director Terry Gilliam Compares #MeToo Movement to "Mob Rule"
“People are frightened to say things, to think things," the director said about the effects of women speaking out about their experiences with sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
Director Terry Gilliam believes that the #MeToo movement that has taken over Hollywood has become a “mob rule.”
While speaking with AFP on Friday, the director acknowledged that many women have suffered in regards to sexual harassment in Hollywood. But, he said, others are using Harvey Weinstein’s downfall as a way to improve their careers.
Gilliam referred to Weinstein as “a monster,” though he is not the only person in the film industry guilty of sexual harassment and misconduct. The director said that there are “plenty of monsters out there… There are other people (still) behaving like Harvey.” Gilliam also shared that he believes the Weinstein allegations finally came to light because he “is an asshole and he made so many enemies.”
His opinion on the #MeToo movement is that it has become “silly.” He said, “People are being described in ridiculous terms as if there is no real humanity left anymore.”
Gilliam called out some of the vocal Hollywood actresses involved in the movement for playing victim. “I think some people did very well out of meeting with Harvey and others didn't. The ones who did knew what they were doing. These are adults; we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition,” he said. "Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey — that's the price you pay.”
While the director lacks sympathy for Weinstein, he believes other men in the industry have been unfairly dragged into the movement. "I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon who is a decent human being,” he said. “He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy!”
He added that the reactions to many women coming forward about their experiences with sexual harassment are “simplistic.” He said, “People are frightened to say things, to think things.”
"It's crazy how simplified things are becoming. There is no intelligence anymore, and people seem to be frightened to say what they really think. Now I am told even by my wife to keep my head a bit low," said Gilliam. "It's like when mob rule takes over, the mob is out there. They are carrying their torches and they are going to burn down Frankenstein's castle."
Gilliam also acknowledged that there has always been an abuse of power in Hollywood. “I don't think Hollywood will change. Power always takes advantage, it always does and always has,” he said. "It's how you deal with power — people have got to take responsibility for their own selves."
The director also called out what he sees as the hypocrisy of the Trump administration during this politically charged time in Hollywood. “I find it funny that [while this is going on] a self-confessed pussy-grabber is the president of the U.S. and is just walking around,” he said.