Women have been leading the charge against Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond, and telling powerful stories that justifiably enrage and unite us. Many of us have wondered when men are going to step up to decry this behaviour and commit to dismantling whatever parts of their professional and social lives that keeps victimising women.
Today, Channing Tatum stepped up. His film, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, was going to be developed by the Weinstein Company. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is based on a book by the same name, and is about a a boy who is sexually abused by his friend. He then plots to kill his abuser friend after feeling iced out of their friendship. Tatum took to his Instagram to announce that the film will no longer proceed.
He writes, "the brave women who had the courage to stand up and speak their truth about Harvey Weinstein are true heroes to us. They are lifting the heavy bricks to build the equitable world we all deserve to live in." We couldn't agree more. The women who have accused Harvey Weinstein, whether we know their names or not, have made the topic salient and urgent to the national conversation. Their fame means the reach for their story is greater, which is a privilege, but we can how, in this instance, their fame is being used to affect culture towards justice.
Channing also writes that "this is a giant opportunity for real positive change that we proudly commit to...let's finish what your incredible colleagues started and eliminate abuse from our creative culture once and for all." The fight against sexual misconduct must involve men, because they are the ones who make choices, hold power, and hold the keys. We see you, Channing, and we expect you to hold yourself and the men in your life accountable.