Terry Crews, Angela Serafyan, Ron Howard Weigh in on #MeToo and Future of Hollywood

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Terry Crews, Angela Serafyan, Ron Howard Weigh in on #MeToo and Future of Hollywood

It’s all anyone around a celebrity seems to want to talk about—and for good reason.

Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large are in the midst of a reckoning, thanks to dozens of brave women and men speaking out, relentless reporting by some of the country’s finest news organizations, and a movement that (thankfully) shows no signs of slowing down.

When we gathered in Los Angeles last week to celebrate our Mavericks of Hollywood issue, we couldn’t help but seek out some of the industry’s most thoughtful to ask about the past year, and more importantly, the year ahead. Actor Terry Crews was one of many who spoke most passionately about the moment.

“I like to say it’s like the Emancipation Proclamation,” said Crews, who came forward with his own account of an alleged assault late last year. “When you’ve let the slaves free, there’s no going back.”

Crews joined others in showing a sense of optimism about the year ahead, but also offered up his own advice on how to keep fueling the conversation.

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“My big thing is to celebrate every win,” he said. “My job is to make sure that these symbolic victories turn into real ones, and Terry Crews is here to watch this play out all the way, and I’m not stopping.”

It wasn’t just #MeToo that had people speaking optimistically about the year ahead. Many, including legendary director Ron Howard, spoke about equality, inclusion, and the untold stories that took far too long to receive their time in the sun.

“There’s been a kind of creative explosion because of globalization, and audiences coming to be excited about and depend upon voices from all over the planet,” Howard said.”We have, here in Hollywood, been all too reluctant to look at new voices who are right here among us.”

“My job is to make sure that these symbolic victories turn into real ones” –Terry Crews

The theme carried through with Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman of Lifetime’s UnREAL.

“I can only hope we’ll stay on the train that we’re currently on, because this wave of new blood, new ways of thinking, the truth being told, authenticity being placed of most utmost value of importance: it’s extraordinary,” he said. “I never thought it would happen so soon, and so quickly.”

For Westworld’s Angela Sarafyan and Dear White People’s Antoinette Robertson, the message was in favor of continued equality.

“When the Women’s March happened, I found it to be one of the most empowering moments in my life as a woman,” Sarafyan said. “I thought that moment really symbolized that maybe there was a change happening in the world, and Hollywood, a microcosm, reflects that change in that world.”

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“I’m so excited to see the amount of diversity we’re seeing in film and in television, and I hope to see more of that,” Robertson added. “And women directors—there’s this force to be reckoned with, and women are coming together and empowering each other, and I just can’t wait for them all to take over the film industry.”

The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon hope this isn’t a phase, but a true tidal wave that won’t growing.

“Sometimes what happens with Hollywood is a little bit of progress, and then Hollywood is like, ‘Man, we really did something’ and it’s like two steps forward, one step back,” Nanjiani said. “I really hope that we keep moving in the direction that we’ve been moving.

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Gordon echoed the thoughts of Robertson, but spoke about an end-goal for a “new normal.”

“I think that when movies do well, or TV shows to well that have diverse casts and diverse directors, let’s not think of it as a fluke,” she said. “That’s the first step I’m looking for. That’s not a fluke, that’s just people wanting to see good movies.”

Speaking of goals, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Spiderman: Homecoming’s Tony Revolori offered a blueprint for identifying the sort of progress everyone was speaking about.

“There’s the end goal, and there’s the realistic goal, and there’s what you want,” he explained. “Realistically, I think it’s giving more opportunities to people of color and women, but I’m happy with where we are now. The end goal is: Hollywood realizes there’s no need for diversity, because it’s already happened.”

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