Ex-Warner Bros. Exec Dee Dee Myers Says "There's Been a Lot of Progress" in Hollywood After #MeToo Movement

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The corporate communications veteran turned senior adviser to California Gov. Gavin Newsom adds "there's been a lot of progress" since 2014 following the #MeToo movement.

Chapman University’s Dodge College Master Class series has been making news as of late thanks to appearances by Bryan Cranston (who dished on how to make it in Hollywood) and Lena Waithe (who teased a stage production with Debbie Allen). The latest virtual event — held Feb. 17 and featuring Dee Dee Myers — continued the trend as the Warner Bros. executive vp corporate communications turned senior advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom opened up about her tenure in Hollywood.

Myers, a onetime White House press secretary and author of the book Why Women Should Rule the World, said she was "really taken aback" by the lack of women in senior decision-making roles when she arrived in Hollywood in 2014.

"They would literally say things like, 'Well, we just hire the best. This is a really demanding industry and really only the most talented people can succeed here.' I could not believe my ears," she said.

Myers also commented generally on the #MeToo movement, a subject that hit close to home at the studio when, two years ago this month, chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara was ousted after a scandal involving actress Charlotte Kirk.

"All of a sudden people had to examine their behavior, not just around sexual harassment but around the attitudes that allowed that to go on. … It wasn’t unique to the entertainment industry, but the entertainment industry had turned a bit of a blind eye to it," she continued. "And that has changed things way faster than I ever could have imagined. So, here we are six or so years later, and there’s been a lot of progress. We still have a long way to go but there have been very substantial changes in the last five, six, seven years.”

Speaking of change, Myers is still in the thick of another controversy as Gov. Newsom is currently the subject of a widespread recall effort that has gained steam in recent weeks.

This story first appeared in the March 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.