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OPINION: I don’t want to work in Hollywood anymore

Photo credit/ Maci Roos

Photo credit/ Maci Roos

Bethany Wade, Photography Editor

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In freshman year, on the first day of my first Communication Arts class at Marywood University, I said my dream was to work for Pixar.

I have forever been a Pixar fan, for as long as I can remember. My parents told me they owned three copies of “Toy Story” on VHS because two-year-old me would watch them on repeat and couldn’t wait for one to be rewound before immediately needing to watch it again. For Halloween, I’ve gone as a few different Pixar characters, including Woody and Buzz. I see every Pixar film opening weekend and multiple times in theaters. I saw the Science of Pixar exhibit twice.

I also have a bookmark on my computer for Pixar’s careers site, which I check occasionally to see if they have any entry-level positions open. I taught myself the animation software Maya for the sole purpose of learning Pixar’s custom rendering software, Renderman. I’ve taught myself to create stories using the Pixar method of storytelling. I picked up a graphic design minor for the sole purpose of learning how to draw things digitally. I’ve done so much just to make myself look more enticing as a potential employee to Pixar.

And then I saw that John Lasseter, one of the founders of Pixar and one of my idols, took a leave of absence due to claims of sexual misconduct.

Since the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, men around Hollywood have been falling from grace due to incidents of sexual misconduct. Studio executives, actors, agents, journalists, producers and more have had accusations thrown their way. There have been so many accusations between October and now that The New York Times has created an ongoing list, updated daily with the latest accusations as well as the fallout and the responses from those accused.

It’s hard enough figuring out if these people should be shunned forever or if their work should still be recognized, but what about the people who dreamed of working in this industry? These people that young individuals idolize and dream of working for are showing their true colors. No one wants to work in an unsafe environment, but it’s unclear if anywhere in Hollywood is safe anymore.

These men abuse their power to take advantage of younger men and women and hold their victim’s careers over their heads. If you want to get somewhere higher, you have to be willing to meet with these men and deal with this sexual harassment. Bribery and brown-nosing may be one thing, but being sexually harassed to advance your career? Nobody in any industry should have to deal with this.

As Hollywood is cleansed of these abusers through the daily revelations of newer scandals, the conditions may get better. But it’s hard to tell if things will change at this time. Five years down the line, are people still going to take these accusations and deal with them right the first time? Or will they try to push them under the rug again?

The only thing that can be done at this point is hope for the best. Maybe these film studios and networks will change their HR policies, protecting victims and changing the procedures to deal with these situations. Maybe people will choose to speak out when these incidents happen, instead of making them into Hollywood’s “open secrets.” At the end of the day, these are only maybes.

I have always made it my goal to end up in Los Angeles. I dream of working on film sets and with animation studios, creating the next big film to be remembered for years to come. I don’t want to give up that dream, but right now, I feel like I have to.

Contact the writer: [email protected]
Twitter: @BethanyWadeTWW

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