Hollywood’s Millennials Are Proof That We’re All Going To Be Fine

Photo: Courtesy of A24 Films.
It's always a treat to hear what comes out of Frances McDormand's mouth when she gets up on stage, which is why this awards season has been particularly delightful. The actress nabbed two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Critic's Choice award, and a Golden Globe for her work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — or, Missoura, as McDormand kept saying during Sunday night's SAG ceremony. But that's not all she said. She gave a quick shout-out at the end of her acceptance speech to the younger members of Hollywood, and how it might just be time to pass the torch.
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"This is really great, and I thank you, but there’s a lot of young ones comin’ up and they need doorstops too," she joked. "Let’s think about that."
Let's. Because this brings up something I've been thinking about these past few months as Hollywood folded in on itself under the weight of allegation after allegation of sexual misconduct and assault. Things like Time's Up and SAG changing its code of conduct are definitely tangible steps towards making things better, but if you really want to see change, look no further than the next generation.
We've spent much of awards season so far wondering why many famous men have been so quiet. Discussion about Time's Up was totally absent from men's speeches during the Golden Globes, and on the red carpet, only women were asked about Hollywood's pervasive sexual misconduct problem.
While we should be asking men these questions, and they should have thoughtful answers, that's just often not the case, and it's made harder by the fact that the celebrities we're talking to spent every minute of their time in Hollywood up until these past few months surrounded by and, in some instances, complicit with Hollywood's sexist culture. Trying to change such intensely learned bias can be frustrating, but perhaps you'll feel better if I demonstrate that the future of Hollywood is much more informed and ready for change.
Take Timothée Chalamet, who was asked about Time's Up at the SAGs on Sunday night, and used it as an opportunity to touch on the many aspects of gender equality that Hollywood still needs to work on.
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"The level of campus sexual assault for people my age is the dialogue that was somewhat already happening, with the centralisation and the Time's Up movement and now that it's hopefully happening at award shows like this, the conversation's getting out there, thank God," he said.
"Equality in the workplace, 50/50 by 2020, these are messages that are getting out there now."
Following the Golden Globes, actor and singer Ansel Elgort took to Twitter with his own take on #MeToo:
"I proudly wore black last night at the Golden Globes to say Times Up! Times up for gender inequality, Times up for racism Times up for sexual harassment! This movement isn't just for Hollywood, it is for the world the youth demands to build," he wrote, adding, "We won't solve our problems over night but its movements like Times Up that allow our voices be heard. We all stand together and demand change. Last night I was hopeful that we are heading in the right direction. I look forward to building a better world with all of you."
While young Hollywood is being vocal about change, sometimes their thoughts end up getting discounted because of their age, and sometimes downright dismissed — like the fact that Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink was repeatedly cut off when trying to bring the discussion to Time's Up on the red carpet at the Golden Globes.
"It’s crazy. But what a great Golden Globes to be at, with all the —" but she was interrupted. She later tried to bring the conversation back to the movement, saying "I’m interested to see everyone in black, and their different take[s] on it. I think it’s great." However, no further questions were asked.
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It's not that "older" generations of Hollywood can't make change — they were the very people who put together the Time's Up initiative — but that we should look to the youth as a reason to be optimistic that it will actually continue. Millennials and members of generation Z have grown up in a completely different culture; one that's more accepting and equal to begin with. Youth culture actively encourages being "woke," which bodes well for how Hollywood might change once it's made up of a majority of people who never once stood for or accepted sexist conduct. In the words of McDormand, they deserve a doorstop, and they also deserve a round of applause for the amazing things they're going to do to make sure #MeToo never happens again.
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