Guertin, L. (2020). Hollywood culture: Portrayals of romantic interactions and gender tropes pre- and post-sexual assault awareness movements of the 21st century. The Young Researcher, 4 (1), 4-21.
Since the 2017 allegations of sexual assault against director Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent trending hashtag “#MeToo”, sexual assault awareness has become a leading edge of fourth-wave feminism. This study explores the impacts of sexual assault awareness movements on Hollywood film by examining 18 films from 1999-2001, 2009-2011, and 2016-2018 and analyzing categorical data gathered to generate trend lines for various aspects of the portrayal of romantic interactions and gender tropes from 1999-2018. These trend lines and correlation coefficients show drastic changes aligned with the goals of fourth-wave feminism, particularly in camera angles, sexual interactions, heteroromantic relationships, and trope portrayal and, in some cases, show shifts directly aligned with the timing of Hollywood sexual assault scandals. These findings demon- strate the influence of American activism, specifically “#MeToo” and sexual assault awareness movements, on cultural markers, in this case, Hollywood film portrayals, and encourage further research on the implications of public activism on cultural and societal norms.
Keywords: film analysis, sexual assault awareness, feminist film theory, gender in film