Sarah Ann Masse, an actor and activist who appeared in the film “She Said,” launched an outreach campaign via her organization Hire Survivors Hollywood, which had Hollywood notables wearing pins to support survivors of sexual violence across the entertainment industry at some of the buzziest events in the biz.
Masse — who is a real-life survivor of Harvey Weinstein, but did not play herself in “She Said” — is the founder of Hire Survivors Hollywood, a grassroots organization that aims to get major studios and networks to make a pledge to hire survivors and give them the same opportunities as others, and stand against retaliation for speaking up. Masse started Hire Survivors Hollywood out her own necessity, after she says she was retaliated against for coming forward about Weinstein, and because she believed other survivors of sexual abuse were facing similar professional backlash.
Throughout award season, Hire Survivors Hollywood created a pin that was worn by actors, filmmakers, attorneys and influencers to help raise awareness of the need to support survivors and create a safer and more equitable work environment in Hollywood.
The black pins that say “Hire Survivors Hollywood” were worn on industry players at events including the Academy Awards, the WGA Awards, Women In Film’s pre-Oscar event, the Artios Awards, the Celebration of South Asian Nominees, the Green Carpet Awards and more.
“She Said” screenwriter Rebecca Leinkeweiz was spotted wearing the pin at the WGA Awards and the Scripter Awards, “She Said” actor Adam Shapiro was sporting his on the Oscars red carpet and “Severance” creator Dan Erickson wore his when he won at the WGA Awards. Others who recently wore the pin include “Jurassic World Dominion” star Dewanda Wise, “My Year of Dicks” Oscar nominees Pamela Ribon and Sara Gunnarsdottir, “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” director Eric Appel and actor Kate Hallett while she was on the circuit for “Women Talking.”
“Being a part of ‘She Said’ has been such a dream come true as an actress and it has also provided me some wonderful opportunities to share the work I’m doing as the founder of Hire Survivors Hollywood with my colleagues, peers and leaders in our industry,” Masse tells Variety.
“During awards season, in my conversations with these folks, it became very clear that there was a huge amount of interest in the work I am doing with Hire Survivors Hollywood to create opportunities for survivors of sexual violence, while creating safer and more equitable work environments for all of us,” Masse continues. “I felt a pin could raise grassroots awareness to these powerful, passionate, influential people that wanted to support our work and it provides a visual way for folks to align with us. The pins began during awards season, but will be an ongoing effort moving forward.”
When sending out messages to encourage individuals across the industry to take the small action of wearing the pin, Masse sent three steps to those who chose to wore the symbolic accessory: spread the word on social media while wearing the pin; make it known that you or your company is committed to hiring survivors; and take the Hire Survivors Hollywood pledge.
That pledge reads: “I pledge to build a safe, 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 pledge to hire survivors.”
Though the 2023 award season is over, the campaign is not.
Masse hopes the pins will continue to be proudly worn across Hollywood to signify her organization’s mission to create a pipeline to create continued opportunities for survivors for years to come.
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