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

HarperAudio. Jun. 2023. 13:54 hrs. ISBN 9780063269293. $27.99. FILM
Television critic, reporter, and Vanity Fair contributing editor Ryan explores the corrosive power dynamics that underpin the entertainment industry. Her critique addresses the impact of harmful behaviors on the media viewers consume and the people involved in its creation. High-profile cases like those of Harvey Weinstein and Scott Rudin are covered, along with many others. Ryan’s meticulous research and plentiful interviews with actors, writers, and directors expose the myths Hollywood tells itself about whose voices deserve to be heard and what behavior is acceptable in pursuit of artistic excellence. Narrator Samara Naeymi’s tone when representing Ryan is authoritative yet conversational, feeling more like a chat than a seminar. Naeymi shines in capturing the heartfelt emotion and thoughtful consideration of the interview subjects. Their triumphs and disillusionment both resonate clearly. Published on the cusp of the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA workers’ strikes, this gripping title is a timely foray into a difficult but necessary conversation.
VERDICT Highly recommended for listeners interested in social justice and entertainment equity. Offer to those who have devoured Kantor and Twohey’s She Said or Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill.
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