Today an article giving voice to those will be hurt most buy the Hollywood GA boycott went live. I participated in this piece as an interviewee to share my perspective as a resident of Georgia and a film industry employee. I decided to share the article with a Facebook group comprised of about 12,000 women working in reality television. I didn’t post it for a debate, it was simply an offering of perspective that those who are sitting back cheering the dissolution of the industry in GA are in fact also cheering on the dissolution of my family, along with tens of thousands of others that depend on the work to survive. I pointed out that on an ideological basis we are on the same side and they are completely valid in choosing to support any path of resistance they chose – but in a very literal sense as an actual resident, I am the one physically here in this fight and I’ve got a different strategy based on my first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the state. The root of my point was that the only means for folks like me to stay and continue to fight is to not smoke us all out and make us leave the state to chase the work.
But engaging was not an option after a barrage of “it’s what ya signed up for,” or “women aren’t worth boycotting for…so you’d rather have women giving themselves hanger abortions” came popping up in droves. Huh?
What nobody even bothered to ask (because not one question was posed in any form other than rhetorical) I am a champion of women’s right, I flew to DC to protest and I actually show up when there is a call to action. In addition, I’ve taken the time to research the legal layout of this law and how this will most likely play out in lower federal courts (where it will almost assuredly be overturned and then the state will make an appeal to the Supreme Court), just like Missouri, just like Indiana and so on. I ignored the outrage mafia’s fabricated facts about a visitor working in the the state would “go to jail if they’ve ever had an abortion” or the woeful ignorance that Georgian’s voted for this in some form (no) or that we are – in fact – a purple state just 80,000 votes shy of turning Blue (gee, seems like it makes more sense to drive in diversity rather than scare it off – but what the hell do I know about math?).
But no, my little fingers couldn’t type fast enough to calm the fire of the outrage machine that took aim at me. But this group, established under the guise of women supporting women, became a soundboard of dismissive chirps dripping with condescension. And it was in that moment that I recalled Brené Brown’s brilliant Netflix special called The Call to Courage that addresses the power of vulnerability. She talks about how after her Ted talk went public she was met with a litter of negative energy online and what she realized as she navigated through that. To sum it up not nearly as poetic as Ms. Brown, it’s so easy for spectators in the cheap seats to pass judgement on the warriors who put themselves in the middle of the fight, but you shouldn’t give a shit what is happening outside of the ring.
Toxic behavior of self-importance is rampant in reality television, it’s a big part of the reason why I walked away. You can only take so much dealing with people who are convinced they are the most clever person in the room. I guess I set the bar a little high with my expectations of thoughtfulness and inclusion considering the audience I shared it with. The lesson learned is that you will never win in a battle against impractical arrogance – ever – now back to the ring.
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Link to the article attached.