I always knew Hollywood is not what it appears to be, and I even question if people can make it in Hollywood without indulging in shady businesses. Now that the allegations against former Miramax executive Harvey Weinstein are out there, Hollywood dreamers should be aware of how damaging the casting couches culture can be.
Most definitely, they should not feel or think that their Hollywood dreams are impossible to achieve and that casting couches are the only way to make their dreams a reality. The more people are selling themselves in exchange to be in movies, the more they are allowing the perpetrator to continue the behavior.
As the New York Times broke the allegation story, more than a dozen actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan, Kate Beckinsale and my favorite Eva Green have come forward claiming sexual allegations against Weinstein. Weinstein has been preying on women for more than a decade as reported by the “New York Daily News.” That’s a long time for something so serious to be swept under the rug with settlements and threats. Now the scandal has tainted Hollywood’s image and traumatized innocent women to live with it for the rest of their lives. No one took it seriously until after the fact. George Clooney said in a “Today’s Show” interview that he knew what kind of person Weinstein was and heard about Weinstein’s affairs. Matt Damon, in the same video, even said he knew about Gwyneth Paltrow’s encounter from Ben Affleck, but the way that I see it they both did nothing.
In general, people should take casting couch more seriously now because of the damage the Weinstein scandal has done in Hollywood. Condoning or being involved in casting couches is damaging to one’s morals, their reputation and damaging to the lives of other people.
To be sure, some people will do anything to make their dreams come true. The desperateness and the selfishness all stems from how competitive Hollywood is. There are too many people with the same passion and it is difficult to achieve when nearly all of them are moving to Los Angeles to hopefully be discovered. People think to achieve, it is about who you know. True in some ways, hence that’s how the casting couch culture operates. However, not everyone takes that route.
Sometimes luck does play a role but that does not mean that people have to lose themselves in the process. All is still not lost. Hollywood dreamers can still hold on and believe, although success rarely happens overnight. But I do have to say success comes with adversity.
Some celebrities struggled before their fame such as Jim Carrey and Halle Berry who overcame homelessness and even film director Steven Spielberg who was rejected from film school twice. Look at them now. Their names are forever engraved in Hollywood history. And this scandal should not determine someone’s decision to give up on their Hollywood dream. In fact, dreamers should learn from this scandal to not lose themselves in the process of pursuing their passion.
After all, casting couch practices happens everywhere: music record companies or even in your workplace. It is disheartening to see what Hollywood might have been all about all this time, but there are some people who worked hard. The Weinstein scandal is a lesson learned. The Hollywood dream is real. It is possible, so do not lose hope yet. Just remember when you dream, you are vulnerable. You can have the Hollywood dream. Just be safe.