Hollywood has been under a spotlight of scrutiny ever since the New York Times published an expose exposing Harvey Weinstein’s history of alleged sexual assault and abuse of power. To the astonishment of some, and the relief of others the infamous producer began to lose all existing and future deals, his company, his PGA membership, and ultimately his power. Once victims of assault could see that there would be consequences for those who have wronged them the dam broke and a flood of accusations began pouring out either through social media or trusted outlets. Just recently Kevin Spacey’s career is becoming another casualty of his alleged pedophilia.
Speaking of Spacey, one name that is on everyone’s tongue regarding this issue is Bryan Singer, who may have caught a short break when X-Men The Last Stand’s director Brett Ratner’s history came to light. Back in 2014 around the time that Singer and the cast were beginning the promotional rounds of X-Men Days of Future Past, Michael Egan accused the director of sexual assault and abuse when he was only 15 years old. No consequences came from the accusation besides Fox pulling Singer from all promotional duties, including his invitation to the film’s premiere. In fact, the accusations did not seem to faze the studio as they hired him back to direct the mediocre sixth entry, X-Men: Apocalypse.
One of the biggest advocates of sexual assault victims is Jessica Chastain. The Oscar nominee is set to play an unknown villain in 2018’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, with Simon Kinberg now in the director’s chair. During press day for her upcoming film, Molly’s Game, I had the pleasure of speaking with her for Screen Rant about the topic of harassment and oppression in the industry;
My current thoughts and feelings are I want to do whatever I can to support victims and to know that I believe them and that there’s a community of artist that are committed to creating safe work environments. And I think that the industry has not been running the way it should be running. I think it goes beyond gender. It goes to all facets of the industry. We need to be more inclusive and um, yeah. So, the thing I am excited about is I do believe that there’s a generation of [artists] who are done with the old ways of Hollywood with the Fatty Arbuckle, Jack Warner, you know, Louie B. Mayer, that kind of old [fashioned] idea of what Hollywood is, and is more interested in creating an industry that is safe and inclusive.
What I wanted to know, and unfortunately did not have time to ask was if she would have accepted the role in Dark Phoenix had Bryan Singer been set to direct. One can pretty much gauge that answer with her recent tweet to an old Daily Wire article about Singer’s worst kept secret. When asked about her involvement in X-Men considering that Bryan Singer is credited as the film’s producer here was her response;
As expected some of the trolls on Twitter went on to accuse her being a hypocrite and questioning her authenticity. With all that is happening, we have to keep the focus where it needs to be and not go around accusing people of knowing who did what and when just because of association.
The latter link takes you to a now deleted yahoo article regarding new accusations.
When speaking with The Daily Beast this past Sunday, Chastain reiterated on her twitter reply that she only dealt with two executives, that being Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker;
“I actually chose to do X-Men because I’m working with Simon Kinberg, who’s also a first-time filmmaker who I met on The Martian, and is an incredible writer and producer. He wrote this script—which I can’t say much about, because it’s X-Men—and there are many powerful female roles in this story that Simon is telling. And all of my dealings were with Simon and Hutch [Parker, another producer], who were on set.”
The Molly’s Game actress then continued with a strong statement;
“I do not feel beholden to anything. I’m going to speak my mind about any injustice that I see. I’m not afraid of anything in terms of that. And I think the greatest myth that an industry can create is to make people feel like they’re easily replaceable. I’m not going to allow that into my life.”
What do you think about all this? Please leave your respectful comments below.