THE NEW YORK TIMES – BROOKS BARNES
“I spend all my time saying how much things need to change,” said Melissa Silverstein, the founder of Women and Hollywood. “It was time to celebrate the endurance of our movement.”
But that was before The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed sexual harassment and rape allegations against Mr. Weinstein going back decades, setting off criminal investigations and prompting a torrent of women to come forward with accounts of abuse by other powerful men in Hollywood and beyond. Talk of the reckoning has essentially overtaken all else in the movie capital in recent weeks.
“These last couple weeks have unmoored the industry,” Ms. Silverstein said in a somber tone during her opening remarks. But the revelations about Mr. Weinstein and others, she quickly added, should be seized upon as a “real opportunity” to push for systemic change…
Ms. Silverstein, who grew up on Long Island and works from her Brooklyn apartment, has long focused on women’s causes. After graduating from Brandeis University in 1989 and earning a master’s degree from Columbia University in 1993, she worked for organizations like the Ms. Foundationand the White House Project, a now-defunct nonprofit dedicated to increasing female representation in business and government.
In 2007, she started a blog to push for gender diversity in the global film industry. She called it Women and Hollywood.
“I didn’t trust my voice at first, but I slowly put myself out there and started to get noticed,” Ms. Silverstein said. “Now I’m kind of a rabid dog,” she added with a chuckle.
On Twitter, where Ms. Silverstein has 33,500 followers, she has been encouraging abused women to come forward. On Thursday, she tweeted “#catchthebastards” and “#BelieveWomen.”