Five years ago, #MeToo shook the entertainment industry to its tectonic plates. Triggered by Jodi Kantor, Megan Twohey, and Ronan Farrowreports on Harvey Weinstein as well as the actress Alyssa Milanoit is Tweeterstories of abusive behavior and blatant abuse of power have erupted in Hollywood, one after another. Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Jeffrey Tambor, director James Toback, Danny Masterson, CEO of Amazon Studios Roy Price, Pixar John Lasseter, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer were just a handful of power men named and shamed in the early months of the turmoil that would become a total death toll for Hollywood.

The assumption was that the industry would never be the same again. Abusers would be eliminated, policies would change, and many more women would be elevated to decision-making positions. But five years later, how much have things really changed? And how much more is Hollywood ready to change?

“#MeToo is a bit of a failure in terms of institutional power,” says TV showrunner Vanity Room. “Most of the time they didn’t name the women in charge, with a few exceptions. The truth is, men still run Hollywood from the top down, and they don’t care. [about #MeToo]. On the contrary, they feel that their colleagues have been unfairly slandered.

That doesn’t mean #MeToo hasn’t had an impact on the industry. “I think what’s changed is I think men are scared, and that’s never happened before,” says a veteran film producer. “Men are afraid of misbehaving because there have been enough situations where [they] now suffer the consequences. It would be nice if that wasn’t the only motivation for the behavior to improve. But I’ll take it, you know?

The repercussions of “bad behavior” are exposed by Technicolor this month: Weinstein and Masterson are currently on trial for alleged sex crimes, director Paul Haggis’ civil rape trial is underway, and the former Scrubs Producer Eric Weinberg pleaded not guilty last week to sexually assaulting five women he is accused of luring to photo shoots. (Weinstein, Masterson and Haggis have denied the allegations against them.) “There’s a lot more accountability now,” says a television veteran. Jenny Bicks, an old sex and the city writer and creator of the Fox series Welcome to Flatch. “I think it’s more difficult for [abusers] hide, and there are clearer channels to be able to report situations. Bicks recently faced a situation on her own set in which someone reported inappropriate behavior from a male member of the crew. “Five years ago, I don’t think they would have felt comfortable coming up to a showrunner and telling them this, but I was able to go and fire him, which made me feel: you see, we can start showing people that there are rules – that you can’t do this shit and get away with it.

After the #MeToo floodgates opened, many Hollywood unions and organizations set up hotlines that helped victims of abuse or discrimination deal with their trauma and move on to next steps, including how to file a complaint to the human resources department of their studio or company. Women in Film recently released the results of its survey, conducted among members this fall, in which 79.9% of respondents say they or someone they know has been the victim of abuse or misconduct while working in the industry in the past five years. CEO of WIF Kirsten Schaffer was appalled by the numbers. “It’s kind of surprising how much that hasn’t changed,” she said with a sigh. Interviewees shared stories such as “Agent pulled her genitals out of her underwear in front of me” and “Our manager grabbed our PR professional’s ass on the red carpet and wouldn’t let go. .” Schaffer says, “It made me think about the time and the difficulty of actually changing behavior. Raising awareness is part of the solution, but it is not the only solution.

Similarly, the Hollywood Commission – which was created in the wake of 2017’s #MeToo explosion to target the industry’s “culture of abuse and power disparity” – launched a new inquiry last week. far-reaching on behavior in the industry. Results from the 2020 survey showed that 65% of those who responded did not think powerful people would be held accountable for harassing someone with less power and just over a quarter of those who have experienced an incident of sexual harassment or coercion have reported it to employers, “because they think they will not be believed, nothing will happen, or they will face retaliation”.

An industry insider who fought to get her human resources department to take action against an abusive colleague understands why so many in Hollywood feel this way. “I think the whole device is rigged,” she said. “If we have HR departments that are hired by studios investigating people in their shows and movies, it’s never going to be fair. Because at the end of the day, HR departments are beholden to studios…and it there’s just too much money involved.” She also thinks racial bias can skew the process. “If a white woman makes statements, she’s taken a lot more seriously than a black woman. seen it happen… I can’t tell you how many people said, ‘Oh, you’re so strong.’ But it’s a shitty situation and I shouldn’t have to be strong for it!

This insider suggests something I’ve heard from many people in my reporting: the feeling remains that the best way to get a complaint taken seriously is to go public with the press or social media. It’s a solution that still forces the survivor to put their own career at risk. That’s why most people in the entertainment industry I’ve spoken to say there’s still an active whispering network warning people of the many problems that still exist in town.