By Margarita Sophia Cortes
NYWIFT Board VP Margarita Sophia Cortes wrote about the recent Hollywood sexual harassment firestorm in our HuffPost column – addressing the importance of speaking out, supporting one another, and no longer letting the boys club get its way. Below is an excerpt.
Today’s headlines about sexual assault in the entertainment industry are not new. These stories are like boiling lava building up inside a volcano waiting decades for the right time to erupt.
In the same year that Casey Affleck received an Academy Award amidst multiple allegations of sexual assault, Harvey Weinstein has been shamed, pushed out and voted off the island. Following sexual misconduct allegations by numerous men against Kevin Spacey, he is being replaced in a movie that has been completely finished, while comedian Louis C.K. is being dropped by studios and his peers.
For all those years of men abusing their status and making someone feel powerless, industry executives are no longer looking the other way and they are finally taking action.
Like many women who read about these sexual assault allegations, my brain went back to dark memories of feeling stifled and powerless.
Mine flashed back two decades ago, as a young Latina in a corporate environment with six male senior level managers who played the familiar power card on a daily basis. While they looked down upon me, excluded me from meetings and talked over me, they welcomed my male co-workers and paid them a considerably higher salary. There was no one to talk to as everyone was part of the boys club.