The Amlet_a collective has launched a campaign to collect complaints against abuse and violence in the entertainment world. And in a few days, there was a boom in reports: “A problem that has alarming dimensions”
Violence where you do not expect. He literally opened Pandora’s box the countryside # let’s openolestanzedibarbablù against violence and sexual abuse in the entertainment world launched by the Amlet_a association.
In a few days and every day, the email address [email protected] and the Facebook page Amlet_a of the collective of actresses – born in 2020 to highlight and contrast the gender gap and discrimination in the entertainment world – have collected dozens and dozens of testimonies.
Gives explicit sexual proposals to groping passing through acts of intimidation linked to the working sphere if certain advances had not been accepted, the stories found there describe a world of human misery.
Even the Italian artistic world, which most could think of as extraneous to these events, therefore has a big problem with gender equality and violence against women. After years of silence, the bubble in which everything had been locked up broke. One of the representatives of the collective, the actress and author Cinzia Spanò, explains their initiative.
When you launched this campaign, did you have any idea that this problem could be so big?
We didn’t expect all of this to emerge. The campaign started just over a week and every day dozens and dozens of colleagues report anonymously on our social page. We knew that violence and abuse are very pervasive in our environment due to a whole series of peculiarities that are linked to our profession.
In the sense that actresses as well as actors work with the body and often the boundaries between what is lawful and what is not lawful are very blurred, deliberately confused. So it is not easy for those who are perhaps at an audition and are young, to find themselves in front of people who are not exactly raw in the way they approach colleagues but often very skilled manipulators. These convince the young actresses of the fact that to do this job it is necessary to be uninhibited and to show oneself first and foremost with the director who is trying to understand what kind of talent he is facing.
I would like to say that these abusers are actually almost all serial. They go on until they are stopped and over the years they develop a ‘script’ in which they say practically the same things, set in motion the same mechanisms, to abuse boys and girls. So it is very difficult to defend oneself from a predatory personality that perhaps intelligently and diabolically convinces colleagues to show themselves particularly uninhibited, then taking advantage of that freedom that is required to make art and theater. It is very complex to intervene if this phenomenon is not mentioned.
We knew that it was widespread and tolerated, but what the campaign is highlighting is a problem that has alarming dimensions and to which I think it will be convenient to send a report to our ministry of culture as well.
To see on the social page, it is like a full river.
The emergence of the problem convinces more and more people to talk and every day these reports increase. Many of the posts that are written on Facebook are colleagues who have witnessed abuse and who, by virtue of being witnesses and wanting to fight violence, denounce. For us, however, joining the campaign also has another value, that is, whoever puts a photo with # apriamolestanzedibarbablù and the key, is also telling us’ I don’t want this stuff anymore in the entertainment world. I am with you, I want to fight so that the predatory figures are excluded from the entertainment world ‘. So for us it also has a value in terms of counting those who want to get involved by putting their face on it, putting their actions into it to combat abuse and violence.
Are they totally unexpected situations?
We have known some cases for 25 years and they are Pulcinella’s secrets: everyone talks about them often adding ‘But he is a bit like this …’ Here, this way of approaching the abuses that are done on the bodies of actors and actresses is the problem. Because if we do not begin to throw a stigma on those who exercise abuse and violence but we tolerate it as if it were a stunt of old or young folkloric characters, we do nothing but endorse a system that then gets out of control.
Because until these people are stopped, their actions become more and more aggressive and more and more are the abuses they commit. Therefore, in order to understand the mechanisms of violence, one must first of all begin to want to see them. Because even if women in a position of power come to me, to say the possibility of making choices, but they don’t have that gender awareness to counter certain distortions, we are full stop.
Because maybe it is precisely women who keep a system unaltered that a more aware man can help to unhinge. It is much more important, I care when I talk about the action of Hamlet_a, not to go to furrow a man-woman conflict that is not in focus with respect to what we have to do.
Despite what is commonly thought, women in the Italian show business are few, we are talking about 32.4 percent. And no woman directs a national theater. Does the problem also come from here?
32.4 per cent refers to the total figure. A number ‘inflated’ by actresses, more numerous than playwrights. Actresses compared to men are about 37 percent of the total while playwrights only 15. So 85 percent of the stories that are told on our stages are a male gaze and a story told by a man will be different from the one told. by a woman.
A number that drops even more if we look at the most important stages without considering that the number of conductors in national theaters is zero. We ask to open, to have more spaces. We work for women but also to raise gender awareness on both sides. We are striving to have more voice on stage and in the entertainment world and in the world in general.