You Didn’t Step Up Ridley Scott
I used to be a fan of English movie director and producer Ridley Scott.
Famous for films like Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator, I loved that at the age of 80 he was still actively pursuing his passion. After a recent CBC interview I’m having second thoughts.
In the interview, Scott discussed his latest movie, All the Money in the World, and what it took to recast Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer and then substitute all his scenes within nine days. Apparently he made the decision as soon as he heard the many claims against Spacey of sexual abuse.
Scott’s initial reaction when he heard the news wasn’t the same as mine which was, “Wow, didn’t see that coming”. Instead his first response was “Ah sh**”. He knew immediately he had to replace Spacey because, as he said in the CBC interview, it “would infect my film”. Later on in the interview he went on to explain that he was always aware of the Hollywood casting couch and the imposition of people who think they are in the seat of power because of who they are at that moment.
However, most damning in my mind was his statement about sexual harassment, “I’ve always ignored it, I don’t look for it, don’t read for it…. I’m all about business”.
I mean really, does Scott honestly believe that knowing sexual harassment and abuse is happening but making a conscious decision to ignore it, somehow absolve him from any responsibility? Ignoring it is especially wrong when someone who is in a seat of power and actually in a position to create safe and respectful environments, does nothing.
Sure I get that he’s all about making movies and money but how about doing the right thing? Perhaps, he could make it clear that his sets prioritize respect and kindness and have zero tolerance for sexual harassment? Or how about pulling aside actors like Spacey and telling them their behaviour – rumoured or otherwise – will not be tolerated.
Ridley Scott may make good movies but I’m not sure I can consider him a real man. A real man (or woman) understands the importance of doing the right thing – even when it’s not easy. After all, being a good person is ultimately about being one who steps up when others step down.Posted on 12-29-17
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