Hollywood's Male #MeToo Stigma and the Fear of Coming Forward: "It's Looked Upon as a Weakness"

Article here. Excerpt:

'Last fall, Johnathon Schaech was running out of options. After making a living as an actor for 30 years — 1996's That Thing You Do! was his breakout — he was in danger of losing his SAG health insurance from lack of work, and he and his wife were trying to have a baby. Schaech, 50, had become something of an unwitting spokesman for male #MeToo victims in 2018 after he said Italian director Franco Zeffirelli had sexually assaulted him on the set of the movie Sparrow in 1993. (Before Zeffirelli died in June 2019, his son, Pippo, denied the allegations in People magazine.) In the aftermath of that disclosure, Schaech found his acting opportunities drying up, and he parted with his agency, APA, and manager, Risa Shapiro.

"I've never been so vulnerable in my life," Schaech says. "Like, whoa, wait a minute. What did I just do?" Schaech was unsure if his newfound vulnerability was hurting his confidence as an actor or if he was being blacklisted for speaking out. "People were taking one side of the #MeToo movement or the other, like a friend of theirs was called out or a friend of theirs was affected," he says. "They didn't necessarily hear my story. They heard their story." Schaech began reaching out to friends for help and secured a meeting with showrunner Greg Berlanti, for whom he had worked on The CW show Legends of Tomorrow. They spoke about parallels between the way gay people in Hollywood had historically been shunned after they came out and the way Schaech worried the industry might be treating him now. Berlanti re-hired Schaech, allowing the actor to retain his health insurance.'

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