Producers MARA BROCK AKIL is a very successful producer who counts widely-popular TV series' MOESHA, The GAME and GIRLFRIENDS among her Hollywood credits, while STEPHANIE ALLAIN lists HUSTLE Ad FLOW, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, and; BEYOND The LIGHTS among her successes!!!
The recent HARVEY WEINSTEIN RAPE And SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS had The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER Magazine to bring them together with fellow HOLLYWOOD executives KRISTA VERNOFF, SUE NAEGLE, and TERRY PRESS, for a discussion of SEXUAL HARASSMENT, RACE, POLITICS, POWER, and so Much MORE - HARASSMENT In HOLLYWOOD: 5 HOLLYWOOD WOMEN On CHANGING The CULTURE Of HOLLYWOOD.
Here are some interview interludes:
In the aftermath of these stories breaking — about Harvey Weinstein, about Roy Price — I wanted to check in with everybody about how you're feeling
MARA BROCK AKIL Two thoughts: One was, "You know what? I'll read those articles later. I already know the truth. Been there, done that. Seen it, heard it." And not just in this industry. In [my] personal life — it's everywhere. So, I decided, in a selfish way, that I'm not going to get distracted by that. Oftentimes women, not only do we have to suffer the trauma, we have to deal with the trauma, unpack the trauma, therapize the trauma, work through the trauma. Now I'm supposed to be distracted by it? When we are in that distraction place, I can't get to the work. And I need to work because I'm still competing with those whom the industry has set up for success. The second thing that came up for me really quickly was, I was thankful because my path in this industry, although challenged with other issues — being devalued as being black, the content that I make having no value — the sexual harassment part I didn't have.
Have you looked back on your own experiences through a different lens?
AKIL Let's [talk about] the Oscars and that whole institution of film festivals. Think about it: Powerful, rich men get to go to the most glamorous spots around the world to have beautiful ingenues, bejeweled and adorned in the finest of wares. They stay in these palace hotels and everyone fawns. "I'm making deals in the day and raping women at night and then I go get this award." And we keep giving it to pedophiles and other rapists.
ALLAIN It reminds me of being a person of color and the microaggressions that you just tuck away: "I know that's not true, but I'm going to move forward." I'm grateful to all of the journalists and all the inspiration that journalists have provided to us and the young people out there to get the stories out and especially to the women who came forward first.