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Racist, misogynist and elitist, the film industry sucks..Discuss

OK, so I generalised for effect, but in light of the Weinstein scandal I'd be
interested to know what Shooters really feel about this business? Personally, I think the film business has been too opaque, too complacent and a bit too nefarious for too long, and maybe now seeing how the sausage is made might finally make people think about addressing some of its longstanding issues.

  • Is it possible to generalise because some people's vices have been exposed?

    There's some truth, it appears to me, in the old saying that power corrupts and that the greater the power the greater is the corruption. But even then it ought not be taken for a generality. It's not only in the film business where success can lead to a loss of moral compass, it's just as manifest in every other field of business and power. Thank heavens for the fact of there also being lots of lovely and decent folk about too; even in the film industry.

    2 months ago
  • From the horse’s mouth:
    Many years ago when I was with Rank and filming out at Pinewood I found myself walking back to our stage after lunch with Bette Davis who was there shooting an Agatha Christie drama. We took a short cut through another stage and came across a young actress rehearsing for a screen test who was clearly terrified as she had been put up fairly high on a trapeze. Immediately taking in the situation Bette looked up and took pity, saying out loud “You poor kid. When I was your age, all I had to do was f**k!” and we thought the casting couch had been retired!

    2 months ago
  • The industry is famously full of filthy fuckers so anything to shine light on it and destroy that being acceptable is very welcome. I suspect this is a bit of a Savile moment and there will be more revelations emerge and more light cast in the shadows - I see Ben Affleck is getting a bit of attention for roaming hands, so the fallout may be starting.

    What does this mean to us? It's probably good news TBH - there will be a period of fallout and self-loathing and clearing out, but movies still need to get made. That means money needs to find new conduits, and that means some upcoming people might be in the right place to get a deal they wouldn't have got before by virtue of being unsullied and in the right place and making a project that helps Hollywood wring its hands and show remorse and rehabilitation.

    And The Oscars will be fun this year.

    2 months ago
  • It's all a bit Sturgeon's Law isn't it? The world sucks in general when it comes to racism, misogyny and elitism. Is the film industry actually any more reprehensible than any other?

    I don't think it is - but the stories about the industry have more appeal, so papers are more interested in publishing them.

    2 months ago
    • I agree it is everywhere, but perhaps the concentration of power in relatively few hands with people terrified to speak out and name names has compounded things. People have been allowed to get away with sleazy behaviour because nobody spoke up. If the choices are speaking up or encouraging a climate where sexual predators can abuse others with impunity I'm all for the speaking up. Yes, the papers are lapping it up, they like a good witch-hunt and pitchfork rally, but it's arguably in the public interest when it's public figures who seek out publicity and attention.

      2 months ago
  • I would have an actors' agent in London to denounce. So why am I not doing it.

    2 months ago
    • Done. I've now emailed BAFTA that they should remove his name from their list of members.

      2 months ago
    • @Alève Mine
      Great of you and very courageous. Women saying 'no' and protesting are seen as trouble makers and to be avoided!

      2 months ago
  • Maybe the reason why I haven’t found my lead actress yet is because I haven’t offered sex???!!

    2 months ago
    • Shut up Franz. Quite one of the stupidist comments to appear in these columns.

      1 month ago
    • Franz - I was very rude to you some months back and (being a lapsed Catholic) have been experiencing some guilt about this. You may not of course have any idea what I'm talking about although I suspect you might. It was a response to you suggesting you haven't found your lead actress yet because you haven't offered sex. You were joking of course and I was less than tolerant. Sorry mate. I owe you a pint.

      2 weeks ago
  • Nothing wrong with a discussion like this (said he, patronisingly) but it must of necessity be just that - a discussion. Or as Patrick originally said make some people 'address the issues'. OK Patrick but who cares? Who will listen? The people responsible? Like the police over here, every outrageous act, even law-breaking goes unpunished. As an example tell me how Hitchcock was punished after failing to consummate his sexual assault on Tippy Hedren, he threatened to wreck her career. She never made another movie.

    2 months ago
  • i had one or two sneaking doubts after posting the above and googled Tippi Hedren. In fact his treatment of her was if anything even worse than I'd imagined although it is not true to say she never worked again. She did and is still 'active' although she appears to prefer to spend much of her time on animal rights work. Good for her. However she never repeated anothing near her success in The Birds, and Marnie.

    It sounds as if Hitchcock's obsession with her made him sound like a sad old git, but give a sad old git the immense power he had and he becomes a monster.

    2 months ago
  • This sort of behaviour has been going on in the film industry - on both sides of the Atlantic - for decades, from Fatty Arbuckle to Don Simpson. No one has mentioned that the Academy still gave Casey Affleck an award, even though his behaviour was significantly worse than his brother's... As a female scriptwriter what floors me is the casual misogyny of male scriptwriters and directors in this country - the director who asked a 15-year-old girl to strip on set for a short film, the writers who create two-dimensional female characters - only to have them strip off at any and every opportunity. I could go on...

    2 months ago
    • Alas, according to all accounts, Fatty Arbuckle was a gentleman and completely innocent of the charges.But the lurid rumours make for, far better tabloid fodder for the likes of William Randolph Hearst (he who instructed Fredrick Remington - "You furnish the pictures, I'll furnish the war.")
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Arbuckle...
      I think poor Roscoe deserves the same apology for being tarred with the Weinstein brush as he was given by the jurors in his third trial. :)

      2 months ago
  • Some time ago I went to a course to learn how to pitch my script and the tutor said: "Imagine you meet Weinstein in the lift. You must be prepared to pitch your script to him." Now he ought to change his teaching and say: "Run out of the lift or be prepared to lose your knickers"
    A French actress was recently interviewed on the radio and the journalist asked her "What didn't you say anything?" She replied: " I told every single journalist who interviewed me; they never thought it was important enough to be repeated."

    I also read, about 2 years ago,that a young actress interviewed by Tarentino for a part, said that he asked her to take her bra off because he wanted to see if her boobs were adequate for the scene. That article should be found somewhere.
    And to finish my comment, here is a Plato's quotation from his book The Republic:
    "As soon as one has the power to do evil without fear of punishment, the wise man himself can't resist to the temptation"
    Power must be control and not only in politics. (By the way if Murdoch can buy Sky, he'll have all the powers of the media.Can this wise man resist a temptation?)

    2 months ago
  • Hi Allan, you're too right, see my Plato's quotation.

    2 months ago
  • Quoting Plato's Republic Claudette? I'm impressed. Mind you if you think about the acts of oppression committed throughout the ages and positively reinforced by the failure of any authority to criticise them - I'm also thinking of various acts of imperialism committed by any government with the strength to get away with it- including our lot of course - and it don't look good, either for the past or the future. Oh dear. Not too depressing I hope.

    2 months ago
  • You only have to look at how few female film critics there are on newspapers, magazines and websites to see why this sort of thing isn't reported more often...

    2 months ago
  • Allan, let's focus on oppression on women otherwise we will never need years of discussion! I've just seen a film that ought to be a must: "In Between" (Three Arab-Israeli women share an apartment in Tel Aviv and try to balance their traditions with the modern world.)The Palestinian woman who made the film is in trouble but the film says such a lot in a few scenes. The most feminist film of this young century and the actresses are outstanding. The government wont let it show in ordinary cinemas because of Les Droits de l'Homme, not the Human Rights.

    1 month ago
  • Indeed the film industry is very racist, reports shows that 95% are white male. Another study did show that only 4% of writers are from other backgrounds than white people, no surprise that other ethnicities are poorly represented in films and TV shows. People is aware of this, but nobody seems to care about it, using the excuse that it is the way things are. As a result, nobody wants to debate or try to solve the problem, we are kept in a vicious circle.

    1 month ago
  • Whilst statistically there must be some actual racism going on, I suspect that the disproportionate lack of ethnic minorities in film and television is more about culturalism than racism. Until this issue is considered much more empirically, mistaking culturalism for racism will continue to hamper progress. Enshrining equality into legislation is helpfully progressive, but there can be no laws that force one section of society to enjoy all of the cultural ethics of another, on any level or in any context. Until perceptions of modernism, rationality and humanity are empathetically shared evaluations this problem will continue to be an uphill struggle. Proscriptive religion and other irrational dogmas are often additionally problematic. Whilst any crass prejudices within demographically and economically dominant cultural groups are unwelcome, this ought not justify unwelcome prejudices held by anyone else either.

    It's worth considering that the biggest disenfranchised section of UK society is not an ethnic minority per se but a vast swathe of the poor, narrowly cultured and under educated (because of cultural proscription) trapped in a kind of entrenched hopelessness attached to tribal like subcultures that offer little but a sense of belonging. That sector, whilst including significant numbers of ethnic minorities, is largely white.

    On the issue of writers though, it must be one of the activities least vulnerable to racism. If what is written has enough appeal to a viable market it ought to have traction.

    1 month ago
  • Well, there are the people called sociopaths. Certain industries tend to attract them. Wall Street also comes to mind. Just kick these fuckers in the balls, I say.

    1 month ago
    • It's taken a while Dan but it looks like these bullies are getting a good kicking right now; they're getting kicked right out of thier own businesses and I imagine that the worst of them are going to be kicked behind bars too. The days of such loutish presumption are all but done.

      1 month ago
  • Claudette - where can we see the Israeli film? And Alice - keep fighting sister (my god I haven't used that expression since the 70s! Were we better or worse then?)

    1 month ago
  • To Allan
    I saw the film at the cinema of Reading University! It is for an "elite" I suppose!! Like all the intelligent films. Unfortunately, intelligent films have the reputation to be boring but In Between is very exciting and it makes you think a lot afterwards. Thinking is strictly reserved for the elite. You dont want the masses to think.The masses must be entertained to stop them from thinking. I always thought that the cinema, all kinds of cinema, was the people's entertainment.
    (la distraction du peuple).
    It makes me think of the Roman emperors saying about the people (the plebe?) "Give them bread and games".
    We do that now.

    1 month ago
    • So where could we get to see it? Reading Uni? Done a couple of shorts with them. Few years ago now so of course they'll all have moved on. Quite one of the worst things about student flicks.

      4 weeks ago
  • Some good podcasts discussing this recently... This American Life spoke to journalists who broke the Weinstein story about what they went through and Record Media had the Editor At Large for the Hollywood Reporter talking about the future of entertainment journalism in light of the scandals to hit the industry... Also worth checking out is the Scriptnotes discussion about how the the industry can change... I don't have links to hand but Google will find them easy enough if you're interested :)

    4 weeks ago
  • Scriptnotes this week tackles a listeners response to their advice and continues a very adult debate they're having on that show ... johnaugust.com/2017/pitching-television-...

    2 weeks ago