Judd Apatow Explains How Hollywood Can Reduce Rampant Sexual Misconduct

The director/writer says one way is to put more women in positions of power.

Judd Apatow

Image via Getty/Christopher Polk

Judd Apatow

It was about five weeks ago when the New York Times published an explosive story that chronicled the alleged sexual abuse by famed movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Since then, many other women and men have come forward about their own stories of sexual harassment/assault at the hands of Hollywood figures, including director Brett Ratner, producer Gary Goddard, comedian Louis C.K., and actor Kevin Spacey.

At this point, it seems as though these harrowing allegations will continue to mount, which is why many industry insiders are calling for much-needed and drastic change.

“There’s always rapists, there’s always murderers. There’s always people who commit sexual harassment. It’s just about how we deal with it. It’s never going to be gone, but we can say it’s not acceptable at all, and then hopefully it changes the frequency,” Judd Apatow said during a candid interview with Deadline. “I think that’s happening; I think that will happen. I do think that this is going to change the way a lot of people do business. I’m very hopeful about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to go away completely. Creeps are creeps, and they’ll look for ways.”

The director/producer/writer explained there were so many instances in which people were aware of the alleged abuse, but failed to do anything about it simply because of greed. He mentioned an incident with actress Daryl Hannah, who accused Weinstein of inappropriate behavior while she was filming Kill Bill. She reportedly told people—including her director—she had to put a dresser in front of her door to prevent Weinstein from coming in.

“How come all of the people that she contacted didn’t do anything? All they did, according to her, was take her off of the rest of the press tour. Nobody said, ‘I’m not going to work with Harvey again.’ Nobody said, ‘I’m going to tell somebody in a position of power, so that he can be dealt with in the manner in which he should have been,’” Apatow explained. “To me, that’s one of the prime examples of what’s wrong with our industry […] If one of the lead actresses of my film called me up and said, ‘I had to put a dresser up against the door because one of your producers was trying to push his way in,’ I would never work with that person again, and I would tell somebody. So, why aren’t people telling people? That’s the issue.”

Apatow suggests that putting more women in powerful positions will greatly reduce sexual harassment/abuse. He said he believes more female executives, directors, and “showrunners” will create an environment that is more supportive of women. He said he also sees the benefits of harassment-prevention seminars, as well as teaching young actors and actresses how to protect themselves.

“People don’t realize what’s improper, sometimes,” he said. “[…] There are certain situations people should not be in. Nobody should be in a hotel room having a meeting. Just below every hotel room is a restaurant, or a conference room, or a sitting area. There’s no reason to go up to anybody’s room. Maybe people need to learn more about that. Here are the warning signs […]We have to educate people to weed a lot of these people out, but we also have to educate people to not be in certain situations. We have to do all of that.”

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