Saturday, 14 October 2017

Money Power Control - The Fall of Harvey Weinstein

There have been so many opinions about the Fall of Harvey Weinstein.  It's been on every social media feed and every channel so I have been thinking about it all week.

I have a few opinions that I would like to share and you can agree or disagree but they are my opinions on the matter.

First of all,  what took so long for this all of the sexual harassment allegations to come into the public view?  Was it because the media are hunting for scandals or is it because it is no longer tolerable in the workplace or in life.

I believe it's a little bit of both.  No woman wants to be the only one to stand up to a bully like Producer Harvey Weinstein or even President Donald Trump for that matter but it's time to stop thinking like that and take a stand.

Every industry has these issues but because the Entertainment Industry is in the public eye it becomes media fodder and gossip for everyone to consume. Is it a reflection of society?  I think so because it's happening everywhere.

I am proud to say that I have never been sexually harassed by my employers but then again I don't look like a Hollywood actress who is asked to take her clothes off to audition for a job.  That has to stop unless it's for the wardrobe person or makeup people to do fittings and special effects castings.

I have been harassed by coworkers in a male dominated industry but I was always able to brush them off but the mental harassment is probably a whole lot worse because it can happen anywhere and everywhere in public and in the workplace because other people are afraid to say anything in defence of it.  Sexual predators only act on it in private places so it makes sense that a lot of people that didn't experience the sexual harassment didn't know about it.

I believe that a lot of women brush it off if it's minor but then do the predators continue to push it further if they get away with the first move?  Probably.

As for the actresses involved,  I would say almost all of them are considered to be beautiful so men believe that it's ok to objectify them and they think they are used to it or "want it".  Most women like to be thought of as attractive but they don't want unwanted advances in the workplace when their livelihoods depend on their jobs.

What I think needs to change comes from both sides.

1.  Men need to be taught that it is UNACCEPTABLE to make sexual advances or derogatory remarks to women at work.
2.  Men need to be held accountable for their actions immediately and not 30 years later.
3.  Women need to REFUSE & REPORT any unwanted interactions to anyone connected or affected as soon as possible.
4.  Actresses need to reduce the risks by not taking meetings in hotel rooms and in public places like restaurants or corporate offices where a third party is present.
5.  Actresses need to start refusing to do unnecessary nude scenes before they accept a part or if a director throws one in at the last minute.

I don't think women are asking for it when they dress sexy but I think men believe that they are OK with it when they wear dresses that have their boobs and asses exposed.  You can be fully clothed and still be sexy. Look at someone like Michelle Obama.  She was sexy because she had confidence, intelligence and dressed appropriately at every event.

Kids need to be taught from an early age what is acceptable on both sides.  A woman wearing a bikini at the beach does not deserve to be self conscious about her body and women need to think about how the world judges them by what they are wearing.   I am not saying it's right but that's the way it is and unless everyone was wiped out and we started a new world where everyone knew what's right and wrong it probably isn't going to change that quickly because these ignorant behaviours are passed down from adults and the media and children don't know that it is wrong until the pay the consequences later.

We need to give more women a chance in the film Industry to change the narrative.  When I was making short films I refused to add nudity, except for 1 guy taking off his shirt to make fun of what men do to women in film and I also refused to do violence and steered clear of profanity even though most of my shorts were silent I preferred them to be something a kid could watch.

I am very proud to say that currently I am working for the Ministry of Labour who are trying to champion rights in the workplace regarding Harassment in the Workplace.  Here is a link to Understanding the Law on Workplace Violence:

In my workplace currently everyone respects their fellow coworkers so it's not a concern that I have at work currently but because I am aware of the new legislation I can take it with me to any future employment with the confidence to know when to use it.

Although I have never directly met Harvey Weinstein I have seen him at the Toronto International Film Festival and his reputation of bullying has been well known for years.  Although i have never heard of sexual incidents i was always keenly aware that he was a person who liked to wield his power.

It's great that the women are coming forward to tell their stories.  I just wish they were able to do so when they happened.

Let's work to change the culture of secrecy and fear and make it unacceptable behaviour for the future generations of women in the work force.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

WASTED! The Story of Food Waste at Planet in Focus


Anna Chai/Nari Kye, USA, 2017, 85 min

Slick, solution­-oriented, and featuring Anthony Bourdain at his sardonic best, 
WASTED! The Story of Food Waste is that rare social issue documentary that’s every bit as entertaining as it is informative.

Do you remember when Documentaries where things you were forced to watch in High School,  well this isn't one of those.  It's eye opening and educational but it's also whitty and interesting.  It puts food waste into perspective and you will feel a twinge of guilt the next time you throw food into the garbage and forget about it.  This documentary is one that SHOULD be shown in schools to young children so that they learn where there food comes from and where it goes if they don't eat it.

I highly recommend everyone watch this film.  It has so many well known people in the food industry discussing different aspects of the food supply chain and how everyone can do their part to make a difference.  

You can see it at the Planet in Focus Film festival in Toronto  in October 2017.

PLANET IN FOCUS Screening Times: Saturday 21 October, 6:45pm ­at Innis Town Hall

Screens with THE POACHER (Nicholas Jones)