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Are Harassment Scandals Overshadowing Hollywood's Award Season?

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you catch any of the Golden Globes Sunday, take a closer look. Many actresses will be dressed in black, and they'll be wearing little pins with the words Time's Up, which is the name of the campaign aimed at fighting sexual harassment and abuse across not just Hollywood but all industries. I recently spoke with Kim Masters. She is editor-at-large of The Hollywood Reporter and host of KCRW's The Business. And we talked about how Hollywood is going to handle this award season as allegations continue to surface.

KIM MASTERS, BYLINE: There are still stories we honestly can't get to because our sources are too frightened to come forward. You know, we know they're there but we can't...

MARTIN: Even now you've got sources who don't want to talk?

MASTERS: Even now, yeah. If somebody's powerful and still in the chair, you know, it's hard to take them on. You know, certain people who are, you know, Harvey Weinstein - I've said often - was not at the peak of his powers when this finally happened to him after years and years of people kind of knowing that he had this alleged behavior. But if you're still in the chair, yes, people are still scared.

MARTIN: So there was this period of time not that long ago when it did feel like every single day someone was being outed for sexual misconduct.

MASTERS: Well, that's today.

MARTIN: Is it still such, even though it's not in the news?

MASTERS: Yeah, oh, yeah. I mean, it is going to be in the news. It's going to come out in pieces. I mean, just last night, I was at my house at night and I got - somebody reached out to ask me to look into a story and said he had people who would confirm what he was telling me. I'll note that some of my key sources in this have been men who have seen the behavior and are not approving it. So I think that's something that we can be encouraged about.

Also, let me just say, you know, there are two big initiatives going forward. One is a group of powerful women in the industry, actresses - Shonda Rhimes, that sort of thing. The other is spearheaded by Kathy Kennedy, who is the head of Lucasfilm. She is a formidable force in this industry. You know, she was Steven Spielberg's producer going back to "E.T." and just a woman who can get things done. And so I think I have a lot of confidence? They've got Anita Hill running that.

And they're going to come across with a bunch of recommendations. And they're raising a lot of money. And they are saying this is not going to just be about women in this industry. They're trying to reach out across multiple industries. They want a legal defense fund that can help women who are not rich and famous or even the actresses who are - you know, aspiring people who are not in this industry. They're going to try to enact some kind of significant change.

MARTIN: So as we look to awards season, I mean, the Academy has had to take a hard look because of the Oscars So White uproar of the last couple of years, and it affects the nominations. I mean, the political moment and the social moment can affect the nominations. How do you expect the story of sexual harassment and assault to figure into nominations this year?

MASTERS: Well, I'm going to take it back to Donald Trump. You know, I think a lot of the fuel for this movement is the fact that he has been accused of misconduct and he's still sitting there in the White House. And I think that's fueled some of the rage that you see over longstanding practices in this culture. So I think there are certain ways. This is a mostly liberal community, as you undoubtedly know. And if you look at the potential nominees, a lot of them are ways to sort of poke at the culture that Trump is promoting - "Get Out," for example, Jordan Peel's movie, which, you know, is about racial relations underneath it all, a movie like "Call Me By Your Name," you know, which is about a gay love affair.

You know, there are ways to say, we don't like this. "The Post" would be another example, which you see Katharine Graham standing up to Richard Nixon and Ben Bradlee too, of course. So those are movies that are in the mix and might get a little extra push because the industry wants to say, you know, we don't like this. And that's a way of expressing a political point.

MARTIN: Kim Masters is editor-at-large at The Hollywood Reporter and she hosts KCRW's The Business. Hey, Kim, thanks so much for talking with us.

MASTERS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.