With Hollywood in an uproar over Weinstein-gate, it’s clear that a line has been drawn in the proverbial sand, leaving us with some interesting results. Thankfully, some unexpected characters have emerged to remind us that decent and empathetic people still exist; of which Kevin Smith is a great example.
Over the weekend, the Jay and Silent Bob star announced on his podcast, “Hollywood Babble-On,” which is recorded in front of a live audience, that he would donate future residuals from all his Weinstein-linked projects to Women in Film, a nonprofit that supports female filmmakers.
This is especially outstanding as Smith’s entire career is owed to Weinstein. Back in the early ’90s, Smith got his big break when Miramax, which Weinstein co-founded with his brother, bought the distribution to his low-budget indie classic “Clerks” after the producer viewed it at the Sundance Film Festival. Other works linked to the mogul also include Clerks II, Chasing Amy and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, as well as Jersey Girl and Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
During the recording, an audience member yelled out to Smith that it wasn’t his fault, to which Smith responded:
I’m not looking for sympathy. I know it’s not my fault, but I didn’t fucking help. Because I sat out there talking about this man like he was a hero, like he was my friend.” He added, “I was singing praises of somebody that I didn’t fucking know. I didn’t know the man that they keep talking about in the press. Clearly he exists, but that man never showed himself to me. It all hurts, and it didn’t happen to me, but it all hurts.
Talk about taking action! It’s certainly a path that many of our male-identifying allies in all industries should follow. This is what allyship looks like: identifying the problem, not deflecting from those who are suffering, and making a change. It’s not enough for men to just talk about how they can learn to identify the harmful aspects of patriarchy and rape culture; an action has to follow. Though Smith is not in any form or fashion at fault for abuse that Weinstein’s survivors endured or for even being linked to Weinstein at all, he is actively disassociating himself with Weinstein completely and financing opportunities for women and disabling a culture that cultivates entitlement and power of the Weinstein’s of the world.
Check out the full podcast below:
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
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Bry'onna Mention is a digital editor at BUST and a wavvy womanist who is always ready to square up against misogynoir and respectability. She can usually be found running through the burbs with her ‘fro. Catch her on the internet at @radsadblackbry or firstname.lastname@example.org.