SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Robert Redford said Thursday the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements were a “tipping point” that would change Hollywood in favor of women’s equality and intolerance for sexual misconduct.
“From my standpoint, change is inevitable and change is going to come. … I’m pretty encouraged right now,” the 81-year-old double Oscar-winner told a news conference launching his annual Sundance Film Festival.
“What it’s doing is bringing forth more opportunities for women and more opportunities for women in film to have their own voices heard and do their own projects. I’m pretty excited by that,” he said.
Redford said that as women were pushing back against harassment and demanding equal pay, they were forcing the traditional male powerbrokers in the film industry to make changes.
“It’s kind of a tipping point because it’s changing the order of things, so women are going to have a stronger voice,” he told reporters as he kicked off the annual showcase for independent films at the ski resort of Park City, Utah.
But he cautioned that men had to be vigilant in responding to women speaking up for equality.
“The role for men right now would be to listen and to let women’s voices be heard and think about it and then maybe discuss it among themselves,” he said.
Sundance is the first major film festival since scores of women came forward in October to accuse movie mogul Harvey Weinstein — an independent film specialist and a supporter of the 10-day event — of harassment and abuse.
In the following weeks numerous high-profile figures, including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman and Louis C.K., have faced a flood of allegations from harassment to rape.
The #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct has particular resonance at Sundance as it has been spearheaded by actress Rose McGowan, who accused Weinstein of attacking her at the 1997 edition of the festival.
Over the years, Sundance has offered a platform for independent filmmakers and launched movies that have gone on to dominate the Oscars conversation, including 2015’s “Manchester by the Sea.”
The festival, which runs through Jan. 28, will shine the spotlight on more than 100 independent features, most of them world premieres, including many from newcomers trying to make their mark.