The headline in Variety was the long awaited "other shoe dropping" for the #MeToo movement.
Thinking people for some time have been asking each other on Facebook, blogs, and over coffee, "what about Woody Allen?" We got our answer this morning when CBS This Morning covered the story of Dylan Farrow, and her experience as a victim of her father. Dylan's step-brother (or half-brother, this family is pretty complex) Ronan is the hero who broke the Harvey Weinstein story in the New Yorker. The entertainment world has protected Woody Allen (and Roman Polanski) for some time. But now the other shoe has dropped, and Dylan's voice is being heard.
Earlier this week Bridget Bardot called #MeToo a hypocritical movement. I don't think it is at all. I think it is an attempt to give the entertainment world back some moral authority. You see, if everyone is a sex offender, then no one is. #MeToo is doing a very good job at making the guy who makes an off color joke in the office equal to the guy who is a serial rapist or the king of a pedophile ring. If the bar can be lowered, then the cultural power can be maintained. Harvey Weinstein isn't so bad because #MeToo. This is called moving the goal posts.
A change in perspective changes everything. The real power in the United States for at least fifty years has been in the entertainment industry. Politics is down wind from culture. All the social agendas we have seen in politics got their start in television and movies. Can you tell me the last time you saw a woman who suffered for her abortion? Or when you saw adultery that had consequences? Or how about racial communities that got along well, an honest portrayal of the gay world, or a preacher that was a positive influence in his community? The stories we have been told are not true, and they have been destroying our culture.
Suddenly, Ronan Farrow stood up and called to our attention that the emperor has no clothes (I guess the pun is intended). Dylan Farrow is proof that the dam has burst, and now one of the saints of the industry is being called into question. Many are waking up to the reality that we have let a bunch of morally bankrupt people have moral authority.
Oprah's speech (I didn't watch, read, or hear it) has nothing to do with her concern for women. She's an actress. She was selling her vision for maintaining her cultural power. Cultural power is a lot bigger than being president. She knows she once could get presidents elected, but now her power is waning. Her speech was about electrifying her former viewers and magazine subscribers. Forget about all those chummy pictures with her and Harvey Weinstein because #MeToo.
We are in an awesome moment in history, one that doesn't come along very often. It's the moment when the rudder of culture can change hands. There are many good and gifted people who have never been allowed a voice in the public square. Maybe as the dam continues to break, and the flood of revelations continues, there will be some new voices.
This is an amazing moment when instead of #MeToo we can start telling stories about good men, responsible women, and healthy families. We shouldn't lament the decay and collapse of the old regime, we should look for ways to begin building something better, stronger, and more life giving. There's a #MeToo I can get involved in.
In 2006, Christ "rhymes with wrist" John Otto was called by God to begin writing, leading worship, and hanging out in a local coffee shop. His adventure, and the people who joined him, eventually took the name Belonging House. Today after lots of coffee, six books, and thousands of emails, Belonging House has become an international "house" for creative culture shapers. Through it all he has learned to be a son, and bring others into a relationship with God. Christ Otto holds degrees from Houghton College and Asbury Theological Seminary.