As some are already coming out to warn of backlash that will hit the women participating in the #MeToo movement, others are standing up to say they don’t care about the consequences, the cause is too important. One of these outspoken stars is actress and TV host, Olivia Munn.
During the media promotion in the run-up to the Critic’s Choice Awards, Munn’s focus was more on the movement than the show. When asked about her focus, the Associated Press reported Munn saying:
“Hosting an awards show pales in comparison to the legal and illegal threats that I’ve had to (face) and that so many other women who have spoken out have had to go through… It’s not as easy to name names as people think. And when you go out publicly and do that, there’s defamation lawsuits that come forward…”
This was not the first time Munn has been a vocal proponent of the #MeToo movement. She has previously come out against director Brett Ratner of “misconduct and harassment” while also condemning others in Hollywood for, generally, using their power to abuse or silence women.
“If it wasn’t for the public outrage that created the waves of shame that crashed down on all the abusers, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now where there’s actually change being made and consequences…”
Munn says speaking out isn’t easy, even with the energy of the movement changing the environment. “Naming names and calling out people — it’s not an easy thing to do, and it’s not something people can do flippantly… So, I think the real hard part during this time is definitely not hosting an awards show. Although it is work, and you’re wanting to put on a good show and all that, but I’ve been through scarier things.”
When Munn talked about sexual misconduct in Hollywood in her book, published in 2010, she says “no one cared,” but the environment has changed. What changed? Munn believes it was more people speaking out.
But what happens when people stop speaking out? Will it go back to people “not caring” or will there be harsh reprisals for the people who have taken a strong stand against what has long been viewed as status quo in the industry?
Some are saying that blowback is inevitable. Others, like Munn, insist it’s worth it. After all, she would know. Even after writing about it in her book, Munn has continued to get work and win both fans and accolades.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.