Sunday 20 October 2019

#MeToo movement has created real change in society - Rose McGowan

Actress Rose McGowan
Actress Rose McGowan

Rose McGowan has said society has experienced "real change" in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

The actress and activist was one of the first women to speak out against Harvey Weinstein, the film producer who denies all allegations of sexual assault.

Weinstein, who is facing rape charges in New York, has been banished from Hollywood while a string of other high-profile men, including actor Kevin Spacey, have also been accused of sexual harassment.

McGowan said the #MeToo movement, which rose to prominence following the Weinstein scandal in October 2017, had had a profound effect in Hollywood and beyond.

Harvey Weinstein and Rose McGowan
Harvey Weinstein and Rose McGowan

She told the Press Association: "I definitely know there's been real change. I go all over the world and give talks and I talk to women and men."

McGowan said her movement was "more than about sexual harassment" and that her new book, Brave, "is about changing the paradigms, the social structure that we think that everything has to be a certain way and it really actually doesn't".

She added: "That's more where my interests lie rather than the binary sexual harassment things."

Before becoming an activist, McGowan was best known as an actress appearing in films such as Scream and the TV series Charmed.

She said she spends less time in Hollywood now, but "from what I've heard women writers are being heard in writers' rooms".

McGowan, 45, believes there is a "lot more awareness" within the entertainment industry and "hopefully... less of a habit to fall into how it always used to be".

Brave took McGowan three years to write and she embarked on the project before #MeToo, a phrase first used by US activist Tarana Burke in 2006, had risen to prominence or the Time's Up group had been founded.

She described the title as a cross between "an autobiography and a motivational book" and said "writing is the most excellent therapy you can ever have", but warned: "But it will almost kill you to do it."

She said: "I just keep on keeping on. Some days you cry a couple of tears, some days there's laughter - it's just like any other day in the world, except there are some extraordinary circumstances."

Since focusing on her career in activism and away from Hollywood, McGowan has become known for her shaved head, a move she said was about "letting go of societal expectations and letting go of the idea that you're supposed to be hot when in fact I think it's better to be cool".

She said she had "always been a punk" and spent her career in Hollywood having to wear "stupid evening gowns because that's what I was expected to wear".

McGowan said: "Now I'm done with acting and I can just look like me, I basically look the same as I did when I was twelve except a lot older unfortunately."

As well as her memoir, Brave, McGowan is the executive producer of The Call Centre - Louisa Connolly-Burnham's debut short film.

People can help fund the film on Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com/projects/louisacb/the-call-centre) until March 17.

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