Everyone in Hollywood is under increased scrutiny as the wave of sexual misconduct allegations continue to sweep the industry. Even those not directly involved in accusations are carefully expressing their opinions on the matter. In a recent roundtable interview for The Hollywood Reporter, one of acting’s quintessential nice guys, Tom Hanks, explained the crisis from his perspective.
Hanks said he wasn’t surprised by the exposing of so many sexual predators, saying that while there are many joys in movie-making, there’s always a dark side. “There are some people who go into this business because they get off on having power,” he said. “And the times they feel the most powerful, which is why they went into the business, are when they are hitting on somebody who’s underneath them, [and] I don’t necessarily mean completely sexually. There are predators absolutely everywhere.”
Asked if he himself had ever encountered any incidents of harassment, he recounted an experience on a film he was producing. He said that while sometimes there is inappropriate behavior on set that comes from the idea of, “Well, we’re in the circus and we’re on the road, so therefore the rules don’t really apply,” there’s a more insidious type of predatory action engaged in by men of power. “The other aspect is, ‘Come try to get this job from me. You want me to give you a job? Come prove to me that you want this job.’ That’s a sin and that’s against the law and that is a degree of harassment and predatory behavior that goes against an assumed code of ethics.”
Hanks believes that in the fallout of all this chaos, that code will no longer be assumed. “I think eventually everybody who has a production office is going to have a code of ethics and behavior. If you don’t follow these, you will not work here. And that’s not necessarily going to be a bad thing. Somebody said, ‘Is it too late to change things?’ No, it’s never too late. It’s never too late to learn new behaviors.”
Read/watch the entire interview, which also features interesting industry talk from Gary Oldman, Willem Dafoe, James Franco, Sam Rockwell, and John Boyega, here.