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In Hollywood, ‘Anything Goes’ Becomes ‘You’re Fired’ 

Disney has severed ties with filmmaker James Gunn, who previously directed two ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

Disney has severed ties with filmmaker James Gunn, who previously directed two ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies. Photo: Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

Joe Flint reports: Executives and creatives are losing their jobs as the entertainment industry becomes less tolerant of offensive remarks, abusive behavior

Hollywood’s longstanding say-anything, do-anything culture is rapidly turning into one where the wrong words can have career-killing consequences.

Top executives at Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Netflix Inc., as well as creative talent who worked on the “Lethal Weapon” television series and “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies have been fired in recent months after allegations of offensive remarks, verbal abuse and other inappropriate behavior that in the past was more likely to have been tolerated, industry veterans said.

“Saying something offensive back in the day wouldn’t necessarily get you fired,” said Tom Nunan, a former high-ranking television executive and executive producer of the Oscar-winning movie “Crash,” about race relations in Los Angeles. “Now the consequences are severe and immediate.”

The recent firings comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement that started in Hollywood with allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and has had repercussions throughout workplaces. Mr. Weinstein has denied accusations of nonconsensual sexual acts. Read the rest of this entry »

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America’s Neo-Victorian Future

Megan McArdle writes: Last week I considered our culture’s vanishing burden of proof when a prominent man is accused of any sexual impropriety. Certainly I wouldn’t want the bad old days of sexual harassment to continue. But there must be some way to find justice for women who have been abused without rushing to punish men who may not have abused anyone.

You can think of crimes as a sort of pyramid: At the top, there are a relatively small number of actions that we can all clearly agree merit the severest sanction, if proven. And then, as you slide down the walls of the pyramid, a growing number of cases that are less and less bad. At the base of the pyramid is a gray area where reasonable people can disagree about whether the evidence is strong, or the behavior alleged merits any sanction.

What happens if we try to apply the sanctions that are clearly merited for the guys at the top to the guys in the middle? What happens if we try to move the line down until it encompasses more and more of the guys at the bottom? Read the rest of this entry »