#MeToo devolves into garden variety mau-mauing for spoils at Cannes
Hollywood women - led by movie star Cate Blanchett - marched on the Cannes Film Festival in France Saturday to mau-mau for more roles for women in Hollywood as part of the #MeToo movement's morph into activism. Variety reports:
There were 82 women in total, a reference to the number of female directors who have climbed the steps of the Palais, the festival’s central theater, since Cannes began celebrating celluloid in 1942. In the same period, 1,866 male directors ascended the same stairs, Blanchett said in a statement, as the women linked their arms in solidarity. The Oscar-winning actress and Cannes jury head was flanked by Kristen Stewart, Marion Cotillard, Ava DuVernay, Léa Seydoux, and Salma Hayek.
“Women are not a minority in the world, yet the current state of the industry says otherwise,” Blanchett said. “As women, we all face our own unique challenges, but we stand together on these stairs today as a symbol of our determination and commitment to progress. We are writers, producers, directors, actresses, cinematographers, talent agents, editors, distributors, sales agents and all involved in the cinematic arts.”
To start, the neat eighty-two number raises questions about the sincerity of the thing. What if there were 83 women who wanted to protest? Who got to choose who got left out and had to stay home? Who got excluded? Was it the fat one who wouldn't look good on camera? If they are calling for greater inclusion of women in the film industry, as well as presumably, less sexual harassment, that limit on the numbers would suggest some kind of hypocrisy. A women's club can be an old boy's club, too, because it's likely some didn't make the cut.
It also shows how far the #MeToo movement has gone, from calling for a change of sexual-harassing behavior in leftwing Hollywood power elites to now a dispensement of spoils and goodies, affirmative action style. This suggests the plantation path of identity politics that has done so much damage to the original civil rights movement.
The call for "more women" in the industry is an old game that was already going on full blast before the Harvey Weinstein scandal. After all, Weinstein himself was trying to set up a female director's school at the University of Southern California to create "more women" in film before the publicity got too bad. What does this group of 82 hand-picked protestors have to say about Weinstein's pious calls for the same thing they are calling for now, which is more women in the film industry? It's like they are marching for Harvey's cause instead of an end to Harvey's bad behavior.
Another suspicious factor is the absence of real women who were harmed by Weinstein's bad behavior. Where's Rose McGowan? Where's the Italian actress? McGowan has reportedly quit Hollywood, likely for lack of work, to become a full-time activist. Obviously, things haven't changed any with the Hollywood power structure, which makes the call for more female faces a little suspect. And the flip side is even more suspicious. This march of 82 features successful actresses. If the point of #MeToo is to state that women have had their careers ruined for not going along with sexual harassment, well, what does that say about women who didn't have their careers ruined? Maybe the more prominent of the actresses in this march can clarify things before anyone takes time to address whatever their complaints are and allow them to make a difference.
Because this doesn't look like making a difference, it looks like institutionalizing another variety of grievance politics.
They are all leftwing there and are papering over the fact that their harassers were leftwing, too. Some political diversity, which includes those with conservative values that don't coincide with Weinstein's might be what it really takes to make Hollywood less of a casting-couch place. Anyone out there want to page Mike Pence for some advice?