BY SANDY COHEN
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Olivia Munn says hosting a Hollywood awards show is nothing compared to speaking out about sexual misconduct.
Munn is hosting the Critics’ Choice Awards on Thursday. But in an interview to discuss her preparations for the show, the 37-year-old actress instead addressed the ongoing sexual misconduct reckoning in the entertainment industry. Munn has publicly accused director Brett Ratner of misconduct and harassment and is an outspoken critic of a Hollywood power structure she says rewards abusers and silences victims.
“Hosting an awards show pales in comparison to the legal and illegal threats that I’ve had to (face) and that so many other women who have spoken out have had to go through,” Munn said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “It’s not as easy to name names as people think. And when you go out publicly and do that, as we know with one of Brett Ratner’s accusers, there’s defamation lawsuits that come forward.
“Naming names and calling out people — it’s not an easy thing to do, and it’s not something people can do flippantly… So I think the real hard part during this time is definitely not hosting an awards show. Although it is work, and you’re wanting to put on a good show and all that, but I’ve been through scarier things.”
The Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association announced on Jan. 3 that Munn would host their annual gala.
Asked if being tapped to host the Critics’ Choice ceremony feels like an endorsement of her outspokenness, Munn said she’s felt the greatest support from the Hollywood community and the public.
“If it wasn’t for the public outrage that created the waves of shame that crashed down on all the abusers, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now where there’s actually change being made and consequences,” she said.
Munn wrote about her encounters with sexual misconduct in Hollywood in her 2010 book, “Suck it, Wonder Woman,” but she said, “nobody cared back then.”
The biggest shift is that now accusers are being believed, she said. But it’s too late for some victims whose experiences ultimately forced them from the industry.
“I understand why they’re pissed off,” Munn said.
So with such a conversation unfolding in the industry and across culture, do film and TV awards even matter?
Yes, Munn said, because awards often lead to raises for people who are excelling at the work they love.
“These awards are time for people to be celebrated for their work, and also these awards are kind of like promotions for people: everyone can get more money for having awards to their name,” she said. “I don’t think we stop the business because this is happening. What I really appreciate is the swift action that does take place when somebody is called out for their abuses — that means many people do care, and they hear it. For the most part, we all want to keep working and we all love the business.”
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