Just the word "Hollywood" can make everyone think of the same things.
The Hollywood Sign, palm trees, Bentleys flying down Rodeo Drive, and the glitz and glamour that comes with the life of being a celebrity.
Well, in accordance with the sad reality that has become sexual assault in the workplace, exploiting, and scandals, Hollywood has not been so glamorous in recent months. The Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein, and Bill O'Reilly scandals are just a few instances that shed a dim light on the ugly truth that can happen behind the scenes in one of the world's most famous industries.
Back when "Grey's Anatomy" still had McDreamy and the #MeToo movement was an idea waiting to be conjured, Hollywood seemed like a bright and carefree place. Since the 1920s, for anyone in the entertainment industry, Hollywood is the end goal. But how can a place where women still aren't paid equally be the ultimate end goal for aspiring performers?
In the heat of the 21st century and the realities that are coming with it, the entertainment industry has some serious catching up to do, but it can't be done unless viewers start caring about wages. The average person doesn't think about how they contribute to the wealth of Hollywood, but every time you watch Netflix or go to the movies or pay for your Spotify subscription, you are paying someone's salary.
It's easy for anyone to care about sexual assault, but it's another thing to do something about it. So what about for the things that don't affect the people at home on their couches watching? Who is going to do something about them? The notion is that everyone in Hollywood has more money than they need anyway, so who cares if they are being paid a little bit less? Well, the female population should. As long as you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem. Wage gaps in Hollywood are no different than a wage gap in a corporate or business world.
In December 2017, Catt Sadler stepped down from the E! News Network because it was reported that Jason Kennedy was making more money than her. After the Matt Lauer scandal, Hoda Kotb revealed she was making $7 million to his $25 million.
It seems like without the #MeToo movement, this injustice would not be something that would have been exposed without a little ammunition. That is because the general public is uneducated about how actors, actresses, and entertainers are paid, but how do you get the middle class to start caring about millionaires?
Whether you care enough about Hollywood or what they produce, a recent study shows that the gender gap is not set to close until 2116. Even if Hollywood seems unattainable, a world with a gender gap in any field is a world with injustice. The #MeToo Movement is one of the most powerful things to happen to Hollywood because it is forcing production companies to review many things other than sexual harassment. This ammunition will lead to additional progress. CNN Money reports that in the last year, roughly 48% of companies have reviewed their pay policies, even companies not in Hollywood.
Because as that 48% has realized, if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.