Tom Hanks: There are predators absolutely everywhere
He said he had to ‘jump right in’ to deal with an issue on a project.
Tom Hanks has said there are “predators absolutely everywhere” and he has had to address “an element of harassment” on a project he was producing.
The actor said it was important to “jump right in” to deal with the problem.
He told The Hollywood Reporter he had not been surprised by the allegations of sexual harassment and assault that have swept through the industry, including against producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey and director Brett Ratner.
He said: “There’s a lot of reasons people do this for a living.
“Making a movie is a life experience that can create an awful lot of joy.
“You can meet the person you fall in love with, you can laugh your heads off.
“That’s the good stuff.
“The bad stuff can happen on a movie as well. There are some people who go into this business because they get off on having power.
“And the times they feel the most powerful, which is why they went into the business, are when they are hitting on somebody who’s underneath them, (and) I don’t necessarily mean completely sexually.
“There are predators absolutely everywhere.”
Asked if he had ever seen anything like that happen and taken action, he replied: “How do I put this? We produced a project in which someone said, ‘there is an element of harassment that’s going on here’.
“And as soon as we heard, you’ve got to jump right in. You talk to every one of the guilds and find out what happened and you go there immediately.
“The difference is, there’s stuff that happens on a set that can be really inappropriate, and there can be that type of predatory aspect on a set because you think, ‘well, we’re in the circus and we’re on the road, so therefore the rules don’t really apply’.
“The other aspect is, ‘come try to get this job from me. You want me to give you a job? Come prove to me that you want this job’.
“That’s a sin and that’s against the law and that is a degree of harassment and predatory behaviour that goes against an assumed code of ethics.
“I think eventually everybody who has a production office is going to have a code of ethics and behaviour. If you don’t follow these, you will not work here.
“And that’s not necessarily going to be a bad thing. Somebody said, ‘is it too late to change things?’ No, it’s never too late.
“It’s never too late to learn new behaviours. And that’s a responsibility of anybody who wants to obey a code of professional ethics.”