Blog

We Seized the Mic in 2017 and Created a Sea Change

It’s been a tough year, but we at The Representation Project haven’t backed down, and neither have you. In fact, together we pushed the needle forward on so many issues, breaking barriers in Hollywood, government, and beyond.

But most importantly, 2017 was the year survivors of sexual harassment and assault seized the mic and created a sea change on how we respond to these crimes. The conversation is happening on a national scale – and it’s not about how women can avoid harassment or assault, but about how men need to change their behavior, how we can hold serial harassers accountable, and how all of us can do better by listening to women and believing their stories:

For too long, victims like myself have been forced to stay silent, swallowing our trauma in shame or fear of retaliation. Thanks to everyday people speaking out en masse, high-profile survivors like Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan leading the way, and courageous reporting bringing truth to light, 2017 was the year we finally changed this equation. Open secrets came out. We flocked to support survivors. And untouchable, serial predators like Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, Louis C.K., Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, and more finally faced consequences for their actions.

I’m inspired by this change and know we have to keep pushing. The media is the message and the messenger and if we are going to build sustaining, cultural change, we have to start with entertainment. They’re one of the worst offenders and could be so much better. That’s why the work of The Representation Project and the young activists who fuel us is so important. We’re pushing for media that rejects toxic gender norms in front of and behind the camera. If you agree that we need to reform what is culturally acceptable in Hollywood, please watch and share the video above. Together, we can end the stigma around assault and build a culture that honors, recognizes, and protects the full humanity of each and every one of us.

Onwards,

Jennifer Siebel Newsom & The Representation Project Team

PS Are you inspired by the possibility of 2018 and what we can accomplish together? If so, please invest in The Representation Project and help us harness the power of film and media as catalysts for cultural transformation.