Time is running out to catch a powerful documentary that delves into the heart of Hollywood’s sexism problem. This Changes Everything, directed by Tom Donahue, is scheduled to leave Netflix on July 16th, 2023.
This docu-film offers a candid exploration of the gender inequality that permeates the entertainment industry. It particularly sheds light on the struggles faced by women in Hollywood.
It was released on the heels of the #metoo movement that washed over Hollywood about a decade after activist Tarana Burke coined the phrase “Me Too” in 2006 to encourage survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.
It will make for an interesting watch now because five years have gone by since it carried forward the discourse around workplace harassment in the most glamorous industry of them all.
What is This Changes Everything about?
This Changes Everything attempted to expose the systemic biases that have plagued Hollywood for decades. The film features many influential voices, including renowned actors like Meryl Streep, Geena Davis, and Jessica Chastain, who shared their personal experiences with sexism in the industry.
In addition, the movie includes interviews with industry experts, directors, producers, and writers, offering a comprehensive perspective on the gender disparity prevalent in the entertainment world, from pay parity to the casting couch.
Why you should watch This Changes Everything?
This Changes Everything explored the deep-rooted issues within Hollywood and challenged the industry’s status quo at the height of a social movement that threatened to tip the scales of power dynamics in favour of women.
This documentary serves as a testament to the struggles faced by women in pursuing equal opportunities and recognition in the film business. The film is an integral part of the movement that pushed for better representation of women celebrities in media.
In the popular consciousness, the redemption arcs of women like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan were partially made possible because this moment in history happened when it did. Even Janet Jackson managed to reclaim the narrative and got to witness a graceful turnaround of public opinion after the unfortunate “Nipplegate” incident that happened nearly two decades ago, all because of this feminist shift in our zeitgeist.
Female actors who play superhero characters are no longer only asked about their diets and skintight costumes. And real-life wardrobe malfunctions causing sensational headlines have decreased in numbers because #metoo happened. But the documentary rightfully called out the superficial actions Hollywood institutions put in place to check their gender bias, including the Times Up enterprise.
In the movie, director Maria Giese is featured prominently, known for her role in instigating the ACLU and federal investigations into Hollywood’s discriminatory practices. Giese has been an ardent feminist activist since 2014, shedding light on Hollywood’s violation of Title VII employment anti-discrimination laws, making it the worst offender among all US industries.
Giese provides a critical perspective on initiatives such as Time’s Up, arguing that they may serve as mere attempts to avoid legal consequences rather than bringing about genuine change.
Featured in The Washington Post, film critic Ann Hornaday states, “Those threats have served as a sort of twin sword of Damocles, forcing studios, networks, and agencies to do the right thing after decades of denying there was a problem.” This quote encapsulates the documentary’s overarching message and underlines the need for continued vigilance to see systemic reform.
Make sure to catch this one before it leaves the Netflix library.