The cast of ‘She Said’ discusses the state of Hollywood five years after the fall of Harvey Weinstein

New York Times Journalists Megan Twohey (played by Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) break the Harvey Weinstein case in She said. (Photo: ©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

It is five years ago New York Times Reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor finally published what many in Hollywood knew privately: Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of sexual harassment allegations stretching back years and involving high profile stars such as Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan with them. After their first big story on October 5, 2017, the duo continued to expose Weinstein’s various crimes, as the former Miramax boss began a long court battle in New York that ended with a guilty verdict and a 23-year prison sentence. (He is currently on trial in Los Angeles on sexual assault charges.)

On the fifth anniversary of Weinstein’s downfall – which sparked the already-existing #MeToo movement – moviegoers can revisit how the journalists solved the case in She saida powerful drama about his 2019 book. Directed by Maria Schrader and Carey Mulligan and starring Zoe Kazan as Twohey and Kantor respectively, the film arrives in theaters as many in the industry consider how far we’ve come , or not, since the story first broke.

For the record, Mulligan thinks Hollywood is a different place in 2022 than it was in 2017.

“Concrete changes have happened,” says the Oscar-nominated actor to Yahoo Entertainment. “Now there are things like solidarity coordinators, anti-harassment workshops and a code of conduct before you start shooting a film. All that stuff is here now for good and I think that’s vital. We talk a lot about how crazy it is that’s all there is. It wasn’t there before! And all those things are the result of this story.”

Interestingly, Kazan first went on the record about sexual harassment in Hollywood in the summer of 2017 – months before the Weinstein story broke. “A journalist asked me about sexual harassment … and I’ve never been asked about it before,” she says, referring to a profile published in The Guardian. “It didn’t really occur to me that it was something I should be nervous about talking about. the industry, but a period of women’s experience. You only have to look at how little is talked about with girls about consent to realize that it’s pervasive.”

At the time, Kazan – who until recently had an active Twitter feed – remembers being bombarded by online trolls for her comments. But she also knew that her words had struck a chord. “My dad told me that the teenage girls who lived next door spoke to him and said how wise it was that I spoke up about this. It’s easy to look back and think that it was inevitable that there would be some consequences Harvey Weinstein for his actions, but I don’t think it was inevitable at all. It took incredible bravery and incredible willingness for these two women to put themselves and their reputations on the line.”

While Weinstein is in prison and will likely remain there for the rest of his life, other high-profile Hollywood figures accused of sexual harassment and abuse are finding their way back to work, with includes Louis CK, James Franco and Kevin Spacey. The men at the center of those stories avoided taking their cases to court or, as happened in Spacey’s case, they were tried and found not to be liable. When asked if Hollywood should provide consequences for known abusers and harassers when the legal system cannot, She said co-star Patricia Clarkson – played by Rebecca Corbett, the New York Times the editor who oversaw the Weinstein story – suggests that those actors will never be part of the industry again.

“Maybe they are finding their way back, but I don’t think they will really be back,” says Clarkson. “In Hollywood, the blows are too heavy now; I don’t think many people can survive those blows. There are also so many good people in our industry who want to work and are better people. Why we are trying to revive. men who have committed felonies? Why, when there are so many good people in our industry to rely on and get on with it? We keep this ship going, we keep it level and we keep equality where it is.”

“I believe in forgiveness, but I think some of these men are inadequate because it went on for so long,” Clarkson continues. “It wasn’t like one night or one moment in their careers; this was repetitive, repetitive behavior that many people indulged in in their lives. Not anymore – not anymore.”

American actor Brad Pitt at the 79th Venice International Film Festival 2022. Blonde Red Carpet.  Venice (Italy), September 8, 2022 (Photo by Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Brad Pitt attends the 2022 Venice International Film Festival in September. The actor is a credited producer on She said, and is currently facing assault charges. (Photo by Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

It is worth noting that there is a particular aspect of it She said representative of the challenges facing the entertainment industry as it tries to chart a course through the #MeToo landscape. Brad Pitt is one of the film’s credited producers, and the Once upon a time in Hollywood The star is currently facing allegations that he assaulted his ex-wife, Angelina Jolie, in 2016. When asked if Pitt is involved in the film with the complexities of Hollywood now, Schrader agrees that the realities of contemporary industry are “complex.”

“I have to say, one of the reasons I’m so proud to be part of this project is that it doesn’t shy away from its complexity,” says the filmmaker. “I think we’ve all learned a lot in the last five years, and we all have the possibility to change perspectives. It’s up to Hollywood and its powerful studios and companies to take on projects that are in societal conversation and not shy . This is what we expect from the film industry: to talk about things even if they are complicated and sensitive.”

from left: Kazan, Mulligan, Andre Braugher and Patricia Clarkson in She Said.  (Photo: Universal/Collection courtesy of Everett)

Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, Andre Braugher and Patricia Clarkson i She said. (Photo: ©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Beyond its impact on Hollywood, Twohey and Kantor’s reporting was a major triumph for journalism – an industry battered and battered by corporate takeovers, tough economic times and relentless criticism of politicians like former President Donald Trump . Like its cinematic counterpart – Alan J. Pakula’s 1976 classic All the President’s men and 2015 Oscar winner Tom McCarthy Spotlight She said it reminds moviegoers how influential carefully reported news stories can be, especially at a time of growing trust in the media.

“The documentation is what’s important,” notes Andre Braugher, who plays former New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet. “One of the themes of the film is that it becomes an undocumented, ‘He said, she said’ story. It is the importance of a paper trail that moves these investigations from mere allegations of bad behavior to documentation of pervasive industrial practices. We live in a world based on opinion. The effort to find and disseminate facts is vital to our democracy.”

“The film talks about what collective action can achieve when it is supported by an institution like this The New York Times,” Mulligan concludes. Times in terms of how they report. The film does a great job of showing how much it takes to be able to run a story like this, and that words and truth really matter.”

She said premieres November 18 in theaters

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