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Six months after the controversy surrounding The Predator, Olivia Munn said Hollywood must keep up the pressure to create lasting change.
“People like to say they’ve hit a moment of fatigue — it’s the #MeToo movement and say we have moved past it. But it’s not a movement; it’s here. It is set in stone, and now we have to work within this and keep moving forward,” she said, imploring other actors to continue to be outspoken and not consider awards. “There is also the temptation to apologize and then still turn a blind eye to on-set abuse,” she said, speaking at CanneSeries.
“If everyone is just going with the tide, we are going to keep falling back into it,” she said. “The hard line is held by the public because that’s where the money is. The power is with the people. They’re the reason we’re here. They need to know it, and news, media, blogs must keep [Hollywood] accountable.”
Munn was isolated by her co-stars doing press for The Predator after calling out director Shane Black and 20th Century Fox executives after having to film a scene with a registered sex offender, Steven Wilder Striegel. She also spoke out about director Brett Ratner’s sexual harassment in 2017.
Munn said she has been told her career would be at risk around the time of the controversy, noting that while she has signed on for two seasons of the new Starz drama The Rook and has some independent film projects in the pipeline, her next project is not yet set.
She also said the outpouring of support she received from people on social media helped her through the difficult situation.
Munn said the biggest change she’s seen in Hollywood following #MeToo is that people in power are now reconsidering their behaviors. “For the first time there are a lot of men — white men in particular — who are aware of their existence, and they are questioning,” she said. “I’ve seen some people get upset about that, and to that I say welcome to what the rest of us have been doing. We have to think about our actions and the way we affect other people.”
Working on the gender-balanced The Rook “makes things easier in certain aspects,” she said.
One scene with a male co-star was changed based on a constructive discussion with showrunners Karyn Usher and Lisa Zwerling. “I can’t help but get a flash of how I’ve seen things portrayed in movies or on TV and how they have affected me and think that’s not the way we should be pushing this out into the world,” she said. Ultimately they agreed because there’s a “shorthand with women” directors and female leads. “It’s a different feeling in general to have a show that is run by three women.”
Asked if she believes #MeToo led to this more female team, she added: “You wouldn’t have seen that five years ago, but I’m just happy it’s happening now.”
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