Actor Tom Hanks has long been known as one of Hollywood’s nice guys and has even spoken about being “America’s Dad” on “Saturday Night Live.” It seem he is always there to give us a little pep talk and instill some hope when we’re feeling down about things going on around us.
Now, he is sharing his thoughts on the sexual harassment and assault allegations plaguing Hollywood. He says he isn’t surprised by any of it and, no surprise to us, delivered some of that father-like wisdom we love him for.
Speaking alongside fellow actors James Franco, Willem Dafoe, John Boyega, Sam Rockwell and Gary Oldman during an actor roundtable interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Hanks said there are predators “everywhere.”
“There’s a lot of reasons people do this for a living. Making a movie is a life experience that can create an awful lot of joy,” he said. “You can meet the person you fall in love with, you can laugh your heads off. That’s the good stuff.”
But while all of that sounds like, well, movie magic, Hanks admits there is also a dark side to the business.
“The bad stuff can happen on a movie as well. There are some people who go into this business because they get off on having power,” he said. “And the times they feel the most powerful, which is why they went into the business, are when they are hitting on somebody who’s underneath them, [and] I don’t necessarily mean completely sexually. There are predators absolutely everywhere.”
Hanks then told a story about a time a harassment issue came up on one of his movie sets and spoke on the importance of taking action immediately.
“We produced a project in which someone said, ‘There is an element of harassment that’s going on here.’ And as soon as we heard, you’ve got to jump right in. You talk to every one of the guilds and find out what happened and you go there immediately,” he said.
This avalanche of allegations began after multiple stories alleging years of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein. Accusations against other notable Hollywood names have also emerged, including Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Steven Segal, Jeremy Piven and most recently, Matt Lauer. Actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn and Ashley Judd have also spoken out against unwanted advances in Hollywood.
But even with all the negativity, Hanks, who will next star in Steven Spielberg’s film “The Post” out on Dec. 25, says all hope is not lost when it comes to the wave of allegations.
“Somebody said, ‘Is it too late to change things?’ No, it’s never too late,” he said. “It’s never too late to learn new behaviors. And that’s a responsibility of anybody who wants to obey a code of professional ethics.”
You can watch the full clip from the interview below: