Sexual Misconduct in Hollywood.Episode # infinity ...
In this episode we sit down with the brave actor, producer and advocate @SarahAnnMasse. In 2017 Sarah was one of many actresses that came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinsten. Listen to this episode openly as Sarah details her stor of what happened that day at Weinstein's Connecticut home, the silence and anxiety she endued, and the shocking backlash she says she suffered from our industry once she went public.
Sarah's organization is @HireSurvivorsHollywood.
Lisa: Hello-hello and welcome to Killer Casting. I am Lisa Zambetti, I'm a casting director in Los Angeles. Happy New Year. Happy 2022. I hope that this new year is going to be full of promise, full of better things, more health, more happiness, more hope and I'm going to start the New Year with an old story because, I hope that this old story will forge new hope for the New Year. So, there's this fairly infamous Hollywood story and I've heard it many, many times and it involves a writer named Janice Hirsch and Janice Hirsch was and she is a very talented comedy writer. And back in the day she was the only female writer on a little TV comedy called The Larry Sanders show and you might remember that, that was Gary Shandling’s, it's a much beloved satire where he plays this, fictional late night talk show host and he's surrounded by a bunch of lovable losers and characters and there's all kinds of backstage antics and chaos.
So anyway, so Janis Hirsch is on the first season of The Larry Sanders show and she writes two of the first six episodes. They get great write ups in the L.A. Times and the show is off to a great start. Guess what happens? She starts to get hazed, she starts to get excluded. She starts to get sort of a, soft velvet glove retaliation by the other writers, the other male writers. And it gets to the point where, she's being excluded from meetings and she's assigned to what they call the slit scenes. I'm going to let you guess what a slit scene meant in those days. But anyway, one day she is sitting in Garry Shandling's office, right? He's the star of the show and she's sitting in his office and in the office are a couple of the other writers, a couple of guys, the other writers and one of the actors who's on the show and they're sitting there chatting in the office and she's sitting there and she feels a tap on her shoulder and she looks, she turns and there was that actor's flaccid penis draped on it and she describes it as a pirate's dead parrot. Laughter ensues, everybody thinks it's just fucking hilarious and she has to deal with that, right?
And so later that day, she's approached by one of the show's producers and he says, oh, I heard what happened and she's like, oh okay, thank God, that wasn't cool. Is something going to happen? And he tells her, I think you should quit. She should quit because, an actor put his junk on her shoulder. Okay. So, I mean, you could say that this is a story that a lot of people in a lot of industries have seen a dead parrot, right? A lot of women have had to suffer the dead parrot and not just in Hollywood and not just writers certainly a lot of other people in our industry have, but that's not even the worst part. The worst part is, not only does she have no power. She can't tell anybody this story because she's not going to work again, right? She's going to be called difficult, she's going to be called somebody who can't take a joke, right? And worst of all, the worst thing you can possibly call a woman in the entertainment industry is, crazy.
And I think about that and I know that, that's like back in the day and all that stuff and I hope that's not the world we're living in, but I think maybe it still is the world we're living in and something that stuns me and I want to talk about this with my guest that I'm going to bring on in a second. What stuns me is, this actor did this in a room full of people and it was done to humiliate Janice, to humiliate her. Now, you'd think that the guy standing there with the dick out would be the one humiliated, but that wasn't the case. Okay, so that's the story that I'm thinking about right now and I want to know what my beautiful guest has to say about it. I joined today by somebody who I am thrilled to have on the show and I'm thrilled to get her thoughts. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Sarah: Hi, I'm Sarah Ann Masse. I'm thrilled to be here today. I'm an actor and a writer and filmmaker and also the founder of an initiative called, Hire Survivors Hollywood.
Lisa: Hire survivors Hollywood. So Sarah, what do you think of that story I just told? I don't know, any thoughts?
Sarah: My heart is like racing and beating out of my chest with rage right now. I'm not surprised. I'm horrified, but I'm not surprised. I've heard so many stories like this over the years and I think like you said, this was years ago and this is the past and hopefully we don't live in that society anymore and that's not what our industry looks like anymore, but it still does. And I think that's the thing that really gets my blood pumping is knowing that these things are still happening and it is still the person who is basically being abused who is the one who's humiliated, not the one who's doing the abusive action.
Lisa: Yeah, exactly. And she's never named who that actor was, but the sad thing is, is not only do I think I know who it was, I can think of several people on that show that it could have been, right? People who are beloved, but Sarah so we were brought together by a mutual friend of ours, the vibrant Lenora Claire who is a victim's advocate and is like a badass fucking fairy godmother to victims everywhere, but if you can tell me your story and for people who don't know who you are.
Sarah: Of course, so I was one of the first women to come forward about being abused by Harvey Weinstein back in October of 2017 and it took me 9.5 years to come forward publicly about what had happened and when I did, it was very scary. I waited a long time because, I was afraid. I was afraid of what would happen to me if I spoke and I didn't think anyone would believe me or anyone would care. I was a very young actress when it happened and it happened in the auspices of a job interview, my day job was always in childcare. I was a nanny and so I was actually interviewing to be his nanny at the time and I spent a month pre interviewing with female assistance of his and they were very aware that I was also an actor, we talked about that and how I had a very clear line of separation between my day job and my acting work and I would never try to use my position as a nanny to further my career and they felt very comfortable and confident with me and as a matter of fact, they told me that they liked that I was in the industry because I would understand. I would understand his world, and I would understand the discretion required and at the time I thought, oh well sure he'll have famous friends around and they would be drinking a little too much or they're talking about things that shouldn't be spilled to the press and I got that. That made sense to me. Once I got to the interview, I was told I had to go to his house in Connecticut and I ended up going alone. One of his assistants was supposed to be there and she bailed at the last minute. It became very clear what kind of discretion they actually meant. It had nothing to do with protecting the private lives of his friends and family and had everything to do with not talking about the sexual abuse that I was going to have to endure. So, he assaulted me during the job interview. He sexually harassed me during the job interview. He started screaming and blowing up at his Children when they walked into the room at the job interview. It was terrifying. It was just absolutely horrifying and I was like locked behind the door, locked behind an automatic gate. I was down in the driveway that was like a mile long. I was very much alone and very much afraid and I told my mom after it happened, but I didn't feel like I could tell anybody else. I didn't know what to do or who to talk to or didn't feel like I could go to the police with something like this. It was terrifying and it really cost me for a long time even before I started speaking publicly about it because, I became really afraid to be alone with powerful men. I had just moved to New York. My background was theater and I started my own theater company and everything, but I was trying to branch out into film and TV. I stopped looking for an agent. I stopped submitting myself for auditions. I was terrified that I would inadvertently walk into a room and he would be there or project for companies or one of his films because as an actor, you don't get a lot of information about the project going in.
Sarah: You don't always know who the producer is. I think it's better now, but back then it was harder and I kept acting, I had my theater company. I kept working with people I knew and trusted in environments I could control, but I lost a lot of time and I lost a lot of opportunity and that was really hard. But the first story came out in the news and I remember thinking, oh, I'm not the only one.
Sarah: And I mean that tells you how far outside of like the center of the film and television industry I was at the time because, I hadn't heard the rumors about him. I hadn't heard the stories about him. I wasn't friends with other actresses who had gone through this with him. So, I really was hearing this for the first time realizing that, he had been doing this for decades to women and I felt terrible for the other people have gone through it. But I also felt somewhat a sense of relief because I wasn't alone and I felt like I could finally say something because, people were actually listening and seeming to care. It felt like there was this shift where survivors were being heard and believed and listened to. So, I felt safe sharing my story. And I hadn't heard one quite like mine yet. I hadn't heard one where someone who was in more of like a domestic worker situation had come forward and spoken and I was certain that he had done this to other people.
Lisa: Oh god.
Sarah: Probably assistants or nannies or housekeepers or whatever and I wanted I wanted that to be part of the narrative. I wanted other women and men who had been through something similar to feel seen and know that they weren't alone. So, that's why I decided to share my story and I felt really positive about it at first, even though I was terrified to put it out into the world and it was good for the first few months I had mostly support and I got to meet a whole bunch of other survivors and really connected with that community and feel a part of things, but then two months in, I was told that I needed to stop talking. I need to stop talking about the abuse. I need to stop talking about Harvey, stop talking about other abusers in the industry because there were people who wanted to blacklist me and wanted to not call me in for things and that I was going to ruin my career. And at first, I thought that this was just an issue with this person who was my agent at the time. Maybe they felt nervous about it, but over the next few months it came to be true. I went from having four or five auditions a month when I first moved to L.A. to having I think, I've had maybe five, maybe six auditions in the past 3.5 years and anything I've put in more work, I'm more experienced. I'm a more known quantity now you would think that it would be the opposite of anything and it's been very difficult and a lot of other survivors started telling me that they were going through the same thing once I started talking about the retaliation.
Sarah: I was thinking I heard stories from everybody, people who are like me who are more unknown sort of, just workaday actors trying to make it and then people who have won major awards and been in some of your favorite movies and it really ran the gamut and it was both implicit and explicit retaliation. Either being told directly, you're not going to work in this town again or having auditions dry up or being suddenly removed from a pilot before it gets picked up or telling only your agent or only your manager, only the producer on the film and still having work start drying up, start having auditions drying up. And I think that's the thing that a lot of people don't realize is, you may know someone's name and you may see them in things still, but you don't realize that suddenly they're not getting the same caliber of work or they're not working as frequently or they're being put into smaller roles or a significant role. And then some people you just never know because, they never get a chance in the first place and it's really painful.
Lisa: I know, and it's so - you just have blown my mind in so many different ways and to people who are listening to. There are a lot of people from the industry who listen to this podcast and some people who don't know the, behind baseball, inside baseball stuff that goes on. But I think what Sarah is talking about is, there are gatekeepers that to work and it doesn't sound fair and it's sometimes it may sound very paranoid, but if those gatekeepers don't open the gate, you can't get into audition. Your submission will not be looked at. Sarah told me before is that, her agent just straight up told her the names of some casting directors who basically said, she needs to shut up or we're not going to bring her in. We're not going to consider her for roles. We’re not going to consider your submission. So, that's a very powerful thing to say to a small agent, to a young and not that experienced, somebody who doesn't have a lot of credits on their resume. That is just like a nail in a coffin. I mean, it must feel so frustrating and so isolating. And it’s what you were saying before Sarah, It's kind of this whisper campaign in the background. The backlash is so subtle. It's not really actionable. You can't really sue anybody for it. It's just it's just by omission. It's just abuse by omission in some ways and I was sharing with you before and I've learned this over the years that, if I'm sitting in a concept meeting about casting and I've got a list of actresses. It's usually actresses, list of actresses that are maybe offers that we're going to make an offer to and usually people will look at a name and go, oh I love her or oh yeah, I've worked with her before, she's great and then a few will be like, oh no, she's crazy. And in the beginning I was just naive and I was like, okay, and that would kind of stick with me. That perception will kind of stick with me, so, I might maybe not put that actress on the next list I present and it wouldn't be, it was an unconscious bias, right? And then as I got a little more experience under my belt, I would push back on that question and say, well what does that mean, what's the nugget of that? And it would turn out to be, oh I heard this or I heard that right? That they didn't really work with this actress, but they heard it and especially if it was an actress that I loved and I knew would be great in a role, I might make a call to that casting director and say, hey, so you hired, so and so for this, how did it all go? And the casting director would usually say, oh she was amazing. She was great, there were no problems. So, it's like where is this coming from? Like you really have to drill that down. Now sometimes, you might call on an actor. Could be a male, could be female and it's like, oh yeah, they were always late to set and they trash their trailer or they were very unkind to everybody around them and we ran behind, maybe there might be something really specific, but usually it's not. So, you've got to wonder, I mean if I did not cast every actress who had been told were crazy, there would be no fucking females cast in anything.
Sarah: Yeah, I’ve heard this from you the other day when we talked, but I have writer friends who have been in rooms where names are being tossed around and they hear, oh no, no, she's too political or she's difficult or she's crazy and it's these words keep coming up and yeah, what is that code for? What does that actually mean? And I think, I'll talk about these three women because they've been public with their stories about their own retaliation, but we know with Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino, Harvey directly told people not to hire them. Said they're crazy, don't work with them. He did that exact thing with Eliza Dushku after she came forward about sexual harassment onset of the show she was on, on Bull. She was fired. Just outright, she was fired from the show and I think these are really good examples of explicit retaliation that happens, but you're right. You don't know, like that's the thing, the gatekeepers can either be part of the problem or they can be the heroes of this story. And that's why I love talking to you because, you are a casting director and now that you're more aware of this thing going on, you can be part of the solution. You can be one of the people who is, more open to seeing people who happen to be survivors and that's kind of the whole point of the initiative I started, which is yes, it's called Hire Survivors Hollywood. But the point isn't just hand rolls to people because they happen to have been abused. It’s to make sure that our doors are open. That they have the same equal opportunity that other people have and that there isn't this unconscious bias or this retaliation going on, whether people are meaning to participate in it or not.
Lisa: That's right. It's so funny because you mentioned Ashley and Mira and I think a lot of people will look at their careers and be like, they didn't suffer. What did they suffer? Because even from my point of view, it's like Ashley Judd, like I had her hair cut in my wedding. I mean I had my hair cut to look like her for my wedding. I mean she's like an icon to me and I would never have guessed that there was any backlash against her or any whisper campaign or that she had missed out on opportunities and both of them have been on many, many lists that I have put together for series and things like that. So, you don't realize because you're not in that person's shoes and you don't know and it's like even if they did not monetarily lose out, just the fact that they had to feel that way that people were talking about them whispering about them, about something that they did not do, right?
Sarah: And I think you said this isn't something you can action, right? You can't sue someone. But I think one of the last remaining lawsuits against Harvey is actually Ashley’s. Related directly to loss of income and loss of work because she has proof, she has tangible proof of this happening. I think it was Peter Jackson that said, yeah, Harvey told me not to call them in for Lord of the Rings. He told me they’re difficult work with and not to do it.
Sarah: And so, she has the legal leg to stand on now. Now what will happen with that, I don't know, but there are times where it's so blatant and there are people who will attest to what's going on that you kind of can say, look, this thing is happening. And that was what was really interesting for me is, I had data. I could say, here's my submission reports, here's how many times I used to get called in for a month and here's what's happened since. And there's like a very clear line and I use my example because it's easy to talk about and I'm not risking revealing anything that other friends of mine and other survivors don't want to discuss, but I think it's a good example of it because, I was an experienced actor and a really well trained actor and I had started having some success before I came forward about Harvey, like I do sketch comedy with my husband and our videos were on Funny or Die and we were getting pitch meetings with networks and my star was kind of on the rise and then suddenly, everything stopped. And I think that's what's so ironic. There are so many people who go, oh, these women are just coming forward for attention and for money and to advance their careers and if anything, the exact opposite happens.
Lisa: Exact opposite.
Sarah: It's not beneficial to our lives, it's hopefully beneficial to society and to moving the needle forward and in the right direction, but it comes at a great cost and I think a lot of people don't really realize that.
Lisa: Yeah. And I've been thinking about talking to you and I've been looking over your Hire Survivors Hollywood website and what you're trying to do, which is so important, but there are so many catch 22s it's like even if you are a victim of this kind of sexual harassment, sexual abuse or sexual violence by somebody in Hollywood, do you really want to put your name out there as a survivor or something? I have this thing about the word victim, I love the word victim. A lot of people see it as a weak word and I don't. I think you have to recognize that you were a victim that somebody did some shit to you that they should not have before you can be a survivor, but a lot of people don't want to be identified as victims. And I understand that and I appreciate what you said that you don't want survivors to be hired just for the sake of being survivors. Because I mean you and I know if we went out to dinner with a bunch of our girlfriends, 99% of those women will have been sexually abused, assaulted. I'm a survivor. I was a victim of multiple assaults. And in my experience working on a show like criminal minds and other projects, I have to assign roles that are so traumatizing, characters who have been traumatized, who are recounting an assault. And I know when that audition goes out there, that there's going to be women really triggered by it. Really triggered by the material and they come in - and some men too, I shouldn't exclude men. Of course this happens to men as well and I've had men triggered as well. And they'll sit in my office and they'll audition for me and they'll really go for it and they'll really bring the material to life and after I say, cut, they can't just turn that off. And I've sat with many, many people, I don't know if this is appropriate or not, but I've sat next to them and I'm like, I'm not letting you leave my office until I know that you're okay and you can stay here as long as you want. I'm going to hold your hand. I'm going to hug you. I'm just going to sit here with you. You don't have to say anything, but I'm not just going to let you go out after having your guts opened up with this material. Because I know that, 99% of the people who I give this material to, it’s either happened to them, it's happened to their sister, it's happened to their mother, it's happened to their daughter. So, we're all survivors in a sense. So, it's interesting, what is the criteria to joining We Hire Survivors?
Sarah: Yeah, I think that's a really good question. I think there's sort of two things that go on within the initiative and that we push for which is both, kind of preventing the retaliation that happens and also remedying the retaliation that's already happened. I had a colleague asked me this the other day, because I'm consulting on a feature right now, this feature has taken the pledge. It's called Through The Rinse we're in pre-production right now. So, what I do first with the casting is, I sit and consult with them, I ask them about the roles that they have and still open and I kind of build a list with them of their asks. The actors that they would want to just approach with the script and make an offer and we try to make sure that there are survivors in each of those categories for each character that they are aware of, public survivors. People have come forward with their story, but then the second part is, once they've done their offer only stuff and they're ready to put out, the casting notices through casting director or out to agents or put it up on, active access, we put in a little note that, this is a production that's working with Hire Survivors Hollywood and if you are a self-identifying survivor, you can put in your notes that you are. You don't have to give any details and the guarantee there is that those submissions will get looked at. There's no guarantee that you'll get an audition or tape. There's just that recognition that, this is a group of people who sometimes don't get the same opportunities and we're making sure. And this is also a very inclusive production company. This is a latinx story and there are some actors that they're looking at for roles. There are Trans roles in the script and they're very much trying to make sure that all historically marginalized groups get an opportunity on this film. So, when they heard about this, they said, yeah, this is just another historically marginalized group. Of course, we want to be inclusive. Of course, we want to open that door and so a colleague said to me, when you say survivor, is it only people have been abused by people in Hollywood? Or is it anyone who's in Hollywood who's dealt with abuse? And I said, to me it's anyone in Hollywood who's dealt with abuse because yes, there's the more traditional thing, I was abused by a producer or a powerful actor and either have come forward and then retaliated against or I'm scared to come forward because of that power and control. But as survivors and you'll know this, there are things we carry with us that do impact how we interact with the world and like me before I came forward publicly and Harvey is not my only abuser, I've been abused by other people. There is an element where, maybe you are afraid to be alone in a room with people you don't know or maybe it does hold you back when you're auditioning and to me even just knowing that a production is working with Hire Survivors makes me feel safer. Like this is a set, this is the crew who will care about these things. I will feel safer here. These are people who will be cognizant of this issue. And another thing I recommend is that, people do a trauma training.
Lisa: I was just going to say that they’re trauma informed.
Sarah: Yeah, ahead of time and that there's always intimacy coordinators involved if there aren't going to be any kind of triggering material that like the sides and the audition itself had a trigger warning on it, that there is a mental health professional on set the day that those scenes are being filmed. So, there's a lot of care baked into these projects. And so that's why I think that the initial focus and sort of the way in for people is to realize that there is this retaliation going on and that there are survivors with faces very specific thing in our industry, but it then does become this more holistic thing where it becomes a safer environment for all people who have been marginalized and people have dealt with all forms of abuse because, there's racial abuse and violence in this industry and there's all these different things that go on. And the intention is for this to be a really inclusive initiative and space for people to get the care and the respect that they deserve.
Lisa: Absolutely. And, I can hear my line producer friends out there, I can feel them rolling their eyes like oh my God, this is going to cost us so much and I think it really doesn't. And if I think about some of the shows I've worked on, the budget for an actor’s shoes is more than - you have a safety coordinator and you have a stunt coordinator, you have all the people who are supposed to keep actor's body safe. It's good to set the tone and it has to come from the top obviously. It comes from the show runner and sometimes it comes from the studio or from the network that, this is a production that's going to be safe for everybody. Everybody’s going to be traumatized mentally, physically, emotionally by working on this show. And I think it's so important and I was saying to you before that, I'm a member of the C.S.A. The Casting Society of America and we have so many advocacy arms that reach out to and we have this whole arm that's equity and entertainment and it's dedicated to increasing access for actors who have been historically underrepresented. And I don't think it's occurred to any of us that a survivor, particularly a survivor of an industry abuse needs to be a protected group of people, but I do think that they are and at least have the effort to undo unconscious bias because, I think that's really the key is, undoing that bias. So, it's just a nonstarter that, if Sarah Ann Masse is submitted to me, I'm going to look at her real like anybody else and bring her in like anybody else. And I don't even necessarily earmark you as –
Lisa: Anything other than your talent.
Sarah: Yeah. Just getting past that first gate is the hardest part. Getting that first door opened. So, we're really trying to make sure that those doors are open and I'm talking about this obviously a lot with casting because of who we both are and what we both do in the industry, but this relates to every department, whoever is that initial gatekeeper to hire grips or to hire PAs or to hire producers, whatever it is, like the mind needs to be open to this. And I actually have created this entire toolkit that reframe is going to be publishing as part of a larger industry toolkit next year. And I'm really excited because I think you're right. People go, oh this sounds difficult, that sounds expensive. I just can't do it. But I have some case studies now of independent films that have done this and independent films don't have any extra work.
Sarah: And they're doing it and all of them have said it, like this has made the creative part of it so much richer. They're open to people that they didn't know were out there or who they wouldn't have thought of before. And it has them thinking about their scripts and their characters in a different way. And I even had a finance company tell a film that I'm working with that they were really happy that this film had started working with Hire Survivors Hollywood. Like it made them feel more comfortable investing in the film interesting.
Lisa: That’s so interesting.
Sarah: Another thing is like, we reduce your liability.
Sarah: Having folks like that makes it a much safer environment, a much less litigious environment. Hopefully what it also does is, encourage abusive people to stay far away from these projects. I think that's the other thing too that people aren't really thinking about is that, it's not only about making sure that survivors are getting these opportunities and getting a chance to have their careers. It's also about making sure these abusers don't keep working and don't keep repeating the same abusive behaviors over and over again. So, if you're creating an environment where abusers know they're not welcome and know that there's all these safety guides in place. Like the production doesn't have to worry about dealing with the lawsuits and the settlements and the bad PR that come from having these abusers around and it's such a positive PR machine too.
Sarah: I mean it doesn't cost that much to add an intimacy coordinator and the union is already pushing for that.
Lisa: Oh yeah, the contract has already – yeah.
Sarah: So, it's kind of already moving in that direction and having a mental health professional like you said, like I've done projects where my outfit costs so much more than I would ever imagine and sometimes more than my pay check and there is room. There’s room in the budget to put in these things that make the project better and it frees the director up to play. If they know that there's somebody watching their back in terms of safety, just like when you're doing stunts, they get to be as creative as they want and they get to play with in this safe space. The actors are more free and more open and feel less afraid because, all of those things have been discussed ahead of time. All of those boundaries they've all been agreed to and consent is a huge part of the process so that, when the cameras roll, you know you're safe and you know you're safe to just do your job. And I think that's a really beautiful part of it too.
Lisa: Yeah, well, just to honk our own horn, the Casting Society of America is made up of incredibly generous, warm people. Casting directors who advocate for actors and we love actors, we want them to be on safe sets and we want to hire people, give everybody every opportunity. And I was telling Sarah before that, we all talk amongst ourselves and we have this list that one of my colleagues, I'll call him out, Jason Kennedy who's a wonderful casting director he casts for NCIS and everything. And he started this list of actors who are just on the cusp of losing their health insurance, right? They may have families, they may not have families, they may have a spouse who's ill and needs cancer treatments. So, they just need to be cast as anything, right? Just give them a one line role. Give them something just to make their weeks. And so we have a active list of actors that we all can look at and go, oh okay, I can help out this person this or that. So, we want to help people. I would really encourage my colleagues - Oh and the other thing I want to say is off the record, Sarah told me some of the casting directors who had told her agent that they weren't going to bring her in because of her advocacy. And I'm happy to say that none of those casting directors are part of the C.S.A. I was very worried, but when I looked them up they're not part of the C.S.A. and it doesn't surprise me, but anyway.
Sarah: I was not given all of the names but I would like to think I would like to think that because my experience is that casting directors really love actors, that's why they do what they do. And I was telling you I think part of it is some people will just go, nope, this person is too difficult, they're making too many waves. I don't want to deal with that. They're going to be trouble for my production. I'm not bringing them in. I don't want to have to deal with that, right? There are probably casting directors who look at someone like me and think that. Hopefully they're few and far between. But I think there are other people who are directly influenced by the fact and not necessarily casting directors. This probably comes in more to play with producers and directors who are still friends with people like Harvey or who maybe have some abusive history themselves and are not the best people themselves. And so people like me are scary to people like them and we are difficult for people like them. And then there's people who just don't know what's going on and so, don't know that they can do something to make it better. So I think it's a complicated knot of how this ends up happening.
Lisa: Well, I definitely recommend that my colleagues, whether you are in the C.S.A. or not that, you help work to end retaliation against survivor’s sexual violence in the entertainment industry and you can actually take a pledge. And I'm just going to look it up really quick because, I just tweeted it out for my colleagues or really anybody in the entertainment industry. You can say, I pledge to build a safer, more equitable industry by giving opportunities, auditions and interviews to survivors and silence breakers. I'll never retaliate against anyone for coming forward about sexual violence. I pledged to hire survivors, take the pledge, Hire Survivors Hollywood. So, I think that is such a great way for us to start 2022. Anything else you want to say Sarah? And I want to talk to you about what you're watching, what you watch on TV. What's your binge?
Sarah: Well I'm late to it and I was putting it off for the longest time, but I finally started succession.
Sarah: I’m obsessed with it. I said to my husband after the first episode I said, this is Shakespeare.
Lisa: Oh yeah.
Sarah: This is modern day Shakespeare. I mean millionaires and the corporate class are kings and queens and watching them and their private lives and all their many human foibles and just the agony of watching how terrible they are and how human they are. It's hilarious and dark.
Sarah: And I love it. I think it's fantastic.
Lisa: There's definitely a king Lear vibe to it.
Lisa: Oh that's cool. Yeah, I just binged High Town which is so good and sexy and stars Monica Raymund too. Just a wonderful actress and she gets to be a very flawed law enforcement officer in this and she's sexy as fuck and I just love it. So yeah, there's a lot of good TV out there right now and what's next for you, Sarah? What are you working on? You must have a million projects that you're doing.
Sarah: I do. Well like I said I'm consulting on this feature right now in my role as the founder of Hire Survivors Hollywood, Through The Rinse and that's filming in the first quarter of 2022 and I'm lucky enough to also be in the cast. So, that will be a fun thing to do. And I am trying right now. I just finished writing my fourth feature. So, I have some things cooking up with my scripts, trying to get them there and I have a shopping agreement for this YA Fantasy Series which is very exciting. It's based on IP. It's called The Chronicles of Carrigan. I've been narrating the audiobooks for seven or eight years and the author W.J. May is just fantastic and we've talked for a long time about how it really should be a series on television and so I have a shopping agreement now and we're trying to get that out there. So, lots of good things in the New Year.
Lisa: Okay, and if you need to hire a casting director for that, do any attachments.
Sarah: I will absolutely keep you in the loop on that 100%. Yeah, hopefully I'll get to audition this year for lots of good projects. That's my goal.
Lisa: I hope to see you in a zoom audition room sometime soon. That would be amazing. Well, Sarah, thank you so much for joining us. I will do everything I can to push out your initiative as much as I can and thank you so much for sharing your story and coming on Killer Casting.
Sarah: Thank you for having me and casting directors are really our heroes as actors. So, thank you for being an advocate for us and for wanting to get this message out there. I really appreciate it.
Lisa: Absolutely. All right, everybody Happy New Year and for now this is Killer Casting signing off.
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