It’s one thing to acknowledge that leering and lecherous men make the shows and movies we love. But the issue is actually way more insidious: It’s increasingly clear that many of those shows and movies — and their ability to be seen — are shaped by the appetites and power of those leering and lecherous men.
There’s a Dushku-sized hole in Bull now, not because her removal was demanded by storytelling logic, but, it seems, because the show’s star couldn’t restrain his tasteless comments. Manhattan — with its gorgeous black-and-white mix of Gershwin music and the New York skyline — might exist purely because Allen found a muse in an underage girl. And the actress Cybill Shepherd now claims her own late 1990s sitcom was cancelled because she refused Moonves’ advances.
Attaining stardom is no protection for women: Salma Hayek says she performed a sex scene in her passion project movie, Frida, because Weinstein threatened to pull the plug on production otherwise. What should play as a tender moment in the movie now reads as an act of coercion. How can that knowledge not taint our viewing of the film?