New Delhi: A group of Hollywood men has launched a campaign named #AskMoreOfHim to show support against sexism and molestation.
Writers, actors, and producers came together with an open letter published in The Hollywood Reporter, ahead of Oscars, to show support to harassment survivors and to demand more accountability from men in the industry.
The letter read, "We applaud the courage and pledge our support to the courageous women - and men, and gender non-conforming individuals - who have come forward to recount their experiences of harassment, abuse and violence at the hands of men in our country. It is never easy for someone who's been harassed or bullied to speak up, especially when the abuse is sexual. These people are our colleagues and friends. They are fellow artists and craftspeople. They are also our partners, siblings, parents and children. We are in awe of their strength and commitment to speaking truth to power".
It further read, "But our awe is not enough. As men, we have a special responsibility to prevent abuse from happening in the first place. After all, the vast majority of sexual harassment, abuse and violence is perpetrated by men, whether in Hollywood or not. And in entertainment - like many industries - men continue to hold most of the decision-making power. Therefore, one of the most powerful things that men can and must do is make it clear to other men - including their friends, colleagues and co-workers - that sexual harassment and abuse is never acceptable. This goes for everything from sexist and degrading comments, right up to domestic violence and sexual assault".
"Some may question our motives for signing this statement and we aim to counteract their skepticism by being painfully honest. Men are imperfect. We are imperfect. And many men, including perhaps some of us, may have enabled the bad behavior of others or acted in ways we now regret. Nonetheless, we believe that men must speak out against sexism, even as we engage in our own process of critical self-reflection, personal growth and accountability", it continued.
The letter concluded, "So consider this our pledge to support survivors, condemn sexism wherever we see it and hold ourselves and others accountable. As advocates, actors, writers, producers, and directors, we hope that our actions will inspire other men to join us. Until now, only a small number of them have been actively engaged in this effort. This must change. It's time we #AskMoreOfHim".
Some of the names that signed the letters are David Arquette, Justin Baldoni, Ben Berkowitz, Max Berkowitz, Kirby Dick, Jim Herzfeld, Michael Nathanson, Jason Newman, David Schwimmer, Ben Silverman, Jason Smilovic, Dennis Barbour from The Partnership for Male Youth, Gary Barker from Promundo-US, Eric Barthold from "Man Up" and Open, Rob Okun from Voice Male Magazine among others.
The previous year's award season was dominated by talks about #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns which saw celebs raising awareness for sexual abuse in the industry at high profile platforms.