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Will #MeToo change the rampant harassment in Hollywood?

The disturbing stories of abuse on and off the set often focus on events that occurred years ago. VICE News gathered teenage women actors to discuss the future of the industry where the #MeToo movement started.

by VICE News
Feb 22 2018, 6:37pm

It’s been a couple of months since Harvey Weinstein was outed as a serial abuser and harasser of women. Nearly every day since that story broke, more men in more professions have been accused of, admitted to, or denied shocking acts of aggression, exploitation, harassment, and prejudice toward women in the workplace.

No company is immune — including VICE. It has affected our workplace too.

Here and everywhere, people are doing what they always do to make sense of things: talking. To capture the kinds of conversations happening in America’s workplaces, we gathered lawyers, actors, technologists, construction workers, and hospitality workers, and asked them about the new reality of #MeToo: Women, Men, and Work.

VICE News spoke to female teenage actors about the future of the industry where #MeToo began. But they say they don’t expect things to change quickly on set — or in the wider world.

”It’s sort of interesting when I've talked to other male actors who are my age about how shocked they are,” said 16 year-old Rowan Blanchard, who feels she is “immune” at this point. Blanchard, known for her starring role on the TV series "Girl Meets World," has acted since she was five years old. “I fantasize about being shocked," she said.

“I had an instance where I witnessed somebody I worked with inappropriately touched someone else that I worked with who was a minor. I reported it privately to our showrunner,” Blanchard recounted, adding that she asked for her complaint to be anonymous. “The next day, nobody talked to me, and said that I was trying to ruin this person's career.”

The women also said that the #MeToo movement has put pressure on people to divulge private — and sometimes traumatic — experiences.

“I don’t shame any women who don’t say anything about it. It’s not their fault at all,” said Chloe Bailey, 19 years old, who produces music under the name CHLOE X HALLE along with her 17-year-old sister, Halle Bailey.

The Bailey sisters, who recently began acting, each participated in the panel. Neither said they had experienced or witnessed harassment, but they noted the movement has instilled a deep sense of connection with other women in the industry.

Emma Kenney, the 18 year-old star of the TV series "Shameless," opened up about difficulty in her private life, telling the panel she had been sexually assaulted twice in the past 18 months. Kenney said each instance occurred off set and outside of work. But Kenney said she felt compelled to share her story because she doesn’t want other women to feel alone.

“That's something I also want to say,” Kenney said. “That it's not always going to be [in] a work environment.”