There has been a lot of news recently about sexual harassment in Hollywood, and so when I met up with acclaimed writer-director-producer Judd Apatow in Los Angeles recently, I asked him about how, as a person of power in Hollywood, he understands or reacts to what seems to be a moment of reckoning for the industry.
“Suddenly it feels like a tidal wave,” Judd says. “It’s because all these people have been traumatized, and they have been terrified to come forward, because they’re worried about losing their careers or being sued.”
Is there something about the entertainment industry itself that makes it such a breeding ground for harassment and abuse?
“It’s a business that is a lot about a point of entry,” Judd says, “and so there’s the potential for abuse – to say, you can enter this world, you can have this job, if you do this.”
I said I wanted to ask him about the allegations regarding Louis C.K and Harvey Weinstein. By the time this episode airs, I said, “maybe there will be a bunch of new ones.”
“I’m sure,” Judd says. In fact, since the interview, we’ve seen new reports about Senator Al Franken allegedly groping a woman when he was a comedian on a USO tour in 2006. At the time, those reports hadn’t yet come out – but it’s terrible how easy it was to sound prescient.
We also talked about the intersection of comedy and politics; what laughing says about you as a person; and what it means when the President of the United States was lobbing insults over Twitter at the leader of North Korea. For the full episode, take a listen here. Subscribe to the podcast. And stay tuned for more.