George Clooney raises a solution to Hollywood abuse scandals

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (OCTOBER 22, 2017) (REUTERS) – George Clooney turned out to launch the latest film he directed “Suburbicon” in Los Angeles on Sunday (October 22) amid an ongoing issue in Hollywood about sexual harassment of women.

The film, written by the Coen brothers, follows two threads – one an African American family coming to an idyllic 1950s suburbia and not being accepted, the other about a man called Gardner (Matt Damon) whose house is invaded and in the process his wife, played by Julianne Moore is killed.

Clooney is well known for appearing in or directing issue-driven films. He told Reuters on the red carpet that the issues close to his heart haven’t changed since he and his wife, Amal Clooney, had twins earlier in the year.

He said “You don’t have to have children to think in terms of how Harvey Weinstein and people have treated women and to think how terrible that is, you don’t need children to point you in that direction. Right now I feel like my kids are innocent and don’t have to deal with this stuff and I’m certainly concerned that at some point we’ll all have to address it together.”

The treatment of women in Hollywood was the hot topic at the premiere. Julianne Moore said “What we want to do is empower women to speak out about what’s going on and let them know that they’re not alone and this is behavior that should not be acceptable. There’s lawyers in New York right now working on eradicating Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) in the case of sexual harassment and I think that’s absolutely the right way to go.”

Matt Damon also remarked on the issue, saying “I think that one great thing that’s happened is it looks like we’re moving towards accountability. The fact that one of the most powerful people I’ve seen in Hollywood has been banished basically is a shot across the bow of any man in this industry who would leverage or use their power to mistreat a woman. I think they’re on notice. If it can happen to someone as powerful as Harvey, it can happen to anybody and so hopefully that’s a step in the right direction.”

He added “A man is responsible for what he does and the industry is saying that’s the case now and finally and I think, I think, I hope that people will and men will understand that and listen to that and behavior will change.”

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was expelled from AMPAS (The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) after The New York Times and The New Yorker published allegations from a number of women that Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them in incidents dating back to the 1980s, including three who said they had been raped.

Reuters has been unable to independently confirm any of the allegations. Weinstein, 65, has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.