Today is the one-year anniversary of the New York Times story that shook the mountain that started the avalanche referred to as #MeToo, and I am very tired. Tired of scraping and re-scraping the barrel of personal pain, and tired of not being listened to. Tired, as Alexandra Petri put it in The Washington Post last week, of watching sexual-assault survivors throw themselves in front of the fast-moving train of some man to whom much is given and of whom little is asked, some man who’s been raised to believe that his whims are worth more than another person’s well-being. Tired of knowing that the train is going to keep going, no matter how many of us get crushed underneath it.
It’s hard to know what the rock bottom of all of this is going to be, but a story published today in The Hollywood Reporter detailing the massive $10 million payday Bryan Singer is negotiating for his work on the upcoming Red Sonja feels close. Even had Singer not been sued several times by several young men who all allege that Singer sexually assaulted them—which he has—he was fired from his last job, after he just stopped coming to work on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody. At the time, Singer claimed he had PTSD from tensions on the set, tensions that arose after members of the cast and crew complained about his unprofessional behavior.
Karyn Kusama couldn’t get a job in Hollywood for six years after Jennifer’s Body did poorly at the box office. Mimi Leder had to wait eight years after Pay It Forward underperformed. Patty Jenkins didn’t make another movie for 14 fucking years after Monster, and that movie won Charlize Theron an Academy Award. And they all showed up to work. None of them have ever been accused of sexual assault, either, and have never had their names removed from anything, as Singer’s was from both the USC film school and the credits of Legion after the allegations against him came to light.
Yet here we are. Singer—who on top of everything has a style interchangeable with that of any number of other blockbuster directors—is not only back at work less than a year later, he’s gunning for a raise. The film is being described as “female-empowered.” I’m going back to bed.