Steven Spielberg says America has a long way to go when it comes to how women are treated in the workforce.
“We’re not anywhere near where we should have been based on the relationships that men and women have, or the way power is used and abused, and I just think we have so far to go,” Spielberg said. “But right now, we’re going through a kind of national reckoning and I think it’s a significant time.”
The “national reckoning” kicked off in October when the media published accounts from women who accused producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Since then, a flood of accusers have come forward to share stories of alleged sexual harassment and abuse in the hands of powerful men in Hollywood and various industries.
For Spielberg, who has been making movies for at least five decades, the alleged bad behavior didn’t come as a surprise to him.
“I was shocked, but I wasn’t surprised,” Spielberg told CNN. “Because … if you have peripheral vision, you’re going to sense these things out of the corner of your eye. You can’t not know that this has been going on rampantly for … I can’t even tell you how many decades.”
Spielberg latest movie, “The Post,” which stars Meryl Streep as former Washington Post publisher, Katharine Graham, has been praised for how it tackled First Amendment issues and women’s rights. Graham became the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company when she took on the position in 1972 at the Washington Post.
“Kay Graham pretty much shattered a pretty important glass ceiling, but we still have a long way to go,” Spielberg said.
While he is not surprised by the alleged harassment that’s rampant in the movie industry, he is stunned by how fast the allegations have prompted change.
“This is something that is being dealt with today, and the courage of these women that are coming forward … I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “Things are changing, and they’re changing faster than I’ve ever seen things change, especially in the last six to eight weeks.”