The Media Industry Evolves With the #MeToo Movement

Gloria Calderón Kellett

The #MeToo movement continues to shape social dialogue across society. Monday afternoon’s main stage session “Content Creation & Coverage in Today’s Evolving Industry” examined the effort’s impact on the entertainment industry.

During the session, leading female media professionals addressed the audience, sharing their vision of the progress made thus far and thoughts on further improvements. The panelists explained how their firms are embracing these changes, the way the movement is influencing business culture, and the efforts being made to encourage change in today’s workplace by promoting inclusion and diversity.

Moderator Melissa Grego, CEO at Hollywood Radio & Television Society, led the discussion with panelists Gloria Calderón Kellett, creator/showrunner and executive producer of the Netflix show “One Day at a Time”; Sheila Smith, director of photography and Steadicam operator; Melanie McFarland, TV critic with Salon.com; and Kim Guthrie, president, Cox Media Group.

Here are some highlights from the session.

Gloria Calderón Kellett

GLORIA CALDERÓN KELLETT

“The communication of it has been really crucial. People are behaving now. Once these stories came out and nothing bad happened to the women, it became easier to talk about things. These little micro-aggressions started to go away. All of us should take a mental inventory about what we are doing that might make someone comfortable or uncomfortable and how can we make it a safe space for everyone to do their job and feel free to speak up.”

Sheila Smith

SHEILA SMITH

“I see the industry wanting the crews to have more women and people of color. I think the men and women don’t want all the crews to be only white males anymore. Men also are much more cautious as to how they treat women. It’s hard to cancel behaviors in one day, but especially the younger men really do get it.”

Melanie McFarland

MELANIE MCFARLAND

“I have seen many eras when things are changing, then we see a rollback, particularly with inclusion. I think since #MeToo broke, the changes we have seen are positive, but there is still a lot of work to do. We need to have people in power who are willing to codify these changes and ensure there isn’t a rollback. There are still many people who don’t have the benefit of power and nobody is watching over them.”

Kim Guthrie

KIM GUTHRIE

“It’s interesting to see that people can come forward and not have retribution. This was just a little reminder of what’s acceptable and not acceptable, and it’s gone a long way.”