The #MeToo movement has swept much of Hollywood, and while it’s both necessary and powerful that women feel comfortable enough to speak out about injustices in the entertainment industry, they can’t be the only ones doing all the work. After all, when 94 percent of women in Hollywood report experiences with sexual harassment, it's clearly a larger problem than just a few bad apples. Considering men continue to hold most of the positions of power throughout Hollywood, they must also put in some effort to dismantle the dangerous power structures that allow for women to be abused. This means wearing black (especially when tuxes, the outfit of choice for all awards ceremonies, are already black anyway!) isn’t going to cut it anymore. That’s why, ahead of the 90th Academy Awards this Sunday, a group of male Hollywood actors, writers, producers, and activists, including actors David Schwimmer and David Arquette, have launched a new campaign today: #AskMoreOfHim.
In an open letter to Hollywood, this group of men expressed their support for survivors of sexual harassment and their commitment to “help prevent abuse and demand accountability from men everywhere,” per Deadline.
"We are in awe of their strength and commitment to speaking truth to power… But our awe is not enough," the letter read. "As men, we have a special responsibility to prevent abuse from happening in the first place."
“After all, the vast majority of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence is perpetrated by men, whether in Hollywood or not,” the letter continued. “And in entertainment—like many industries—men continue to hold most of the decision-making power.”
“Therefore, one of the most powerful things that men can and must do is make it clear to other men—including their friends, colleagues, and co-workers—that sexual harassment and abuse are never acceptable.”
The letter also acknowledged that “some may question” the men’s motives for this statement, since not only is it so late in the movement but it also comes just days before the Oscars, when all of these issues are put under more scrutiny anyway.
"Men are imperfect. We are imperfect,” the letter admits. “And many men, including perhaps some of us, may have enabled the bad behavior of others or acted in ways we now regret."
The letter was signed by over twenty men besides the previously mentioned Schwimmer and Arquette, as well as groups A Call to Men, Futures Without Violence, and The Representation Project. To read the letter in full and scan the list of men who decided to stand up and use their platform for good, head over to Deadline.
This welcome act of solidarity was echoed by another man in Hollywood today, John Krasinski. In a recent Playboy interview, Krasinski spoke about how men should react to the #MeToo movement. "This is a much bigger movement than just sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is the byproduct of a system that failed women a long time ago," he said. "The problem is the system is very old, so the dismantling process is going to take a while."
"If you’re a male CEO and you don’t harass people, don’t pat yourself on the back," he added. "Get other people to be more like you."