Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood

Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063269279. $29.99. SOC SCI
Vanity Fair contributing editor Ryan exposes the ugly truths about the entertainment business and the harmful behaviors that have been accepted and normalized in Hollywood for more than a century. The author asserts that the problem is never just one person. Sexual predators are just one part of a toxic work environment that people are meant to overlook when making movies and television shows. Mentions of classic Hollywood stories about the abuse and mistreatment of workers are brief, but there is a long list of issues that are represented in this book. By breaking down the various myths that entertainment workers are told to believe, the author dismantles the argument that there is no changing the business; she also offers solutions. Readers will come away with a better understanding of what creatives have gone through to make the shows and films people love to watch. Some readers may even recognize similar harmful behaviors in their own work environments.
VERDICT All workers, as well as TV and movie buffs, can appreciate this well-told book of essays about labor in Hollywood.
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