Mira Sorvino believes the key to eradicating sexual misconduct lies more in preventative education than in “naming and shaming” perpetrators.
The Oscar-winning actress was one of the first to come forward with allegations of abuse against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, and her resilience has not wavered.
She wants to work with students — from younger grades to the end of high school — to make them understand consent and their physical rights.
“So we don’t raise boys — because it’s mostly boys who do this, some girls, but mostly boys — who turn into men who commit these heinous crimes,” Sorvino said during a recent interview while promoting her role on the new season of the Sony Crackle series, “StartUp.”
Sorvino agrees that the culture has changed over the past year, but feels there’s a long way to go, especially when bad behavior is validated in entertainment.
“That was sort of taught to us by like ’80s movies culture like ‘Sixteen Candles’ or ‘Porky’s’ or ‘Animal House’ which made it OK to commit date rape and it was the women’s fault because she was drunk rather than, ‘That’s date rape.’ How could you possibly take advantage of somebody who can’t even speak?'” she said.
She added: “‘That’s not cool. That’s not fun.’ But that’s what my generation of guys were brought up on. I mean I was brought up watching those movies, so we’ve got to change the culture. It can’t just be punishment and naming and shaming, it’s got to be prevention because that’s what we really want. We want no one victimized,” Sorvino said.
Sorvino has found some solace as a prominent voice in the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. Advancements by these organizations have become a rallying cry for women victimized over the years by varying degrees of sexual misconduct. On Dec. 1, she will join the Mika Brzezinski-led line-up for the “Know Your Value” event in San Francisco, which is designed to support and empower women.
She’s kept acting, too. In “StartUp,” Sorvino plays a quirky NSA agent with a deadly side that tries to take down a dark-web site to find a terror cell. The series raises questions about online privacy and the government. It’s currently streaming on Sony Crackle.
She also has helped lobby for legislation in California that provides protections and opportunities for women and girls. Three of the bills presented under the proposed #TakeTheLead legislation have been enacted into law after being singed by California Gov. Jerry Brown.
And she has bigger plans in mind, namely a change to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing equal rights for women.
“This year coming up I really want to see the Equal Rights Amendment passed. It’s nuts that we don’t have explicit equality in the constitution,” Sorvino said.