Paul Scheer has an idea for men in Hollywood and beyond who want to help solve the rampant sexual harassment and abuse problem: "Listen more."
The "Disaster Artist" actor told TooFab at AFI Fest in Los Angeles Sunday that everyone needs to start making an effort for change, regardless if they're affected by the numerous allegations that have come to light against various actors, producers, businessmen and politicians over the past two months.
"I think every male in power has to listen more," Scheer said. "I think people tend to be complicit because they write things off or they say, 'Okay, yeah well that doesn't directly involve me,' and I think we need to make the culture that when we hear these things, we speak up. We speak up for the people who aren't in high positions and we speak to power and know that we will be supported and not ostracized in the community."
Accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein in early October set off the chain reaction of allegations through the press and social media. Since then, numerous women and men in various industries have spoken out about unsavory experiences of all kinds, ranging from sexual harassment and misconduct to assault, pedophilia and rape.
Hollywood titans Kevin Spacey, Ed Westwick and Brett Ratner are among those facing the most serious allegations. Popular comedian Louis C.K. was accused by five women of either masturbating in front of them or asking them if he could, and released a statement acknowledging the stories of his sexual misconduct "are true."
When asked how he thinks the allegations and related revelations rocking Hollywood could affect the Oscars, Scheer said he thinks "that it will probably play a part," but hopes the allegations won't take away from the nominees who may be associated with the accused, but not guilty.
"I definitely think that it will probably play a part, but hopefully the people who are nominated won't have to take on the associations because I think that's unfair too. But if you were nominated and you were accused of something that's a whole different story, but I think if you're affiliated in some way and someone is giving your film money, it's a little risky."
Scheer's "Disaster Artist" co-star Ari Graynor added that the claims have made her "incredibly angry."
"I have a lot of anger being one of the emotions that I have about all of this stuff so it's hard to summarize all of the thoughts about it," Graynor told TooFab. "But thank God for all of the people who have stood up and spoken. It's been such an amazing personal gift to me thinking about my own history."
"The Disaster Artist" is a comedic look at the production of "The Room," a so-bad-it's-good cult classic that has fascinated audiences for over a decade. Scheer plays cinematographer Raphael Smadja while Graynor plays actress Juliette Danielle, who played Lisa in "The Room."
"The Disaster Artist," directed by and starring James Franco, hits theaters on Dec. 8.