Six months on, has hollywood done enough to prevent another weinstein stuff.co.nz

"Behaviour will absolutely be changed and things will move forward with more boundaries," says Schiffer. "What was a boundary-less culture is now learning boundaries and the more formal the organisations, the easier those types of things are to implement."

Instead the first waves of the scandal were peppered with names like Weinstein, Fox executive Roger Ailes, Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, director Brett Ratner, actors Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Tambor, Aziz Ansari and Jeremy Piven, Today host Matt Lauer, comedian Louis C.K. and ’80s sitcom star Scott Baio.

There were also scores of others, less well known, including chef Mario Batali, actor Danny Masterson, actor/director James Franco, producers Gary Goddard and David Guillod, stunt coordinator Joel Kramer, presenter/producer Ryan Seacrest and television producer Andrew Kreisberg.


Is Masterson, accused of rape, the equal of Ansari, accused by a date of failing to interpret "non-verbal" signals? Is Goddard, accused by actor Anthony Edwards of sexually assaulting him and raping a friend, the equal of Seacrest, who was accused of sexual harassment, investigated and ultimately cleared?

"When this all happened, arriving out of Weinstein, there was such a rapid fire of reveals and with that there was a lumping of accusations and putting it all into one category," Schiffer says. "That undermines the seriousness of some of the accusations and it equally undermines the fairness for [others]."

The wider challenge, Schiffer observes, is having a discussion in the midst of a "tribal mentality, pervasive in politics and driven in part by social media [in which] if you have certain beliefs and they are challenged in any way, or to be reconsidered or reflected upon, I think the public can react in tribal ways."

The most recent case in point: life coach Tony Robbins who was censured for saying that some women were using the #MeToo movement to gain "significance" through "victimhood". Reaction online was swift and brutal, and Robbins was compelled to apologise the following day.

One of the problems is Hollywood itself which, which Stacy Smith, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism who specialises in gender representation, says is still a fundamentally male space.

Some 85 per cent of directors and 70 per cent of writers are male, so it is perhaps unsurprising that more than 65 per cent of speaking roles – and almost 75 per cent of roles over 40 – are also male. "The number of women on screen is unchanged from the 1940s," she told The New Yorker.

When women are hired as directors, Smith says, all of those numbers begin to slide towards a more representative structure. "Hollywood perpetuates the view of women as marginalised and unimportant [but] Hollywood is also the place that can address and change this," she said.

Until Weinstein’s expulsion – the result of an "emergency meeting" of the Academy’s 54-member board of governors, carried out with the theatrical gravity of the UN making a resolution about Syria – expulsions from the organisation are few, and typically for infringements such as selling tickets to the Oscars. (The only previous case of note: actor Carmine Caridi, exiled permanently in 2004 for providing Oscar screeners to an online pirate.)

Even if that change comes at a slower pace than many hope; actors Michael B. Jordan, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Brie Larson have been quick to back so-called "inclusion riders" – contract clauses which require diversity in casting and crew hiring – for example, but so far the push has not been backed by any major studio.

"I think it’s incumbent upon the boards and the businesses to educate, and I think that as people are more educated, and they see the types of negative implications, and they also understand the human element, that is when you get behavioral change."