Gwendolyn Purdom
November 30, 2017 12:15 pm

When the world is getting us down, there’s always Tom Hanks. And the world has been getting us down A LOT lately. Just a day after we learned yet another public figure (Matt Lauer) has been accused of predatory behavior, an interview with Tom Hanks addressing the sexual misconduct allegations plaguing Hollywood has been released.

And, no surprise, Tom Hanks came through with some powerful insight on the issue.

Hanks participated in The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual Actor Roundtable interview, along with James Franco, Willem Dafoe, John Boyega, Sam Rockwell, and Gary Oldman. When asked whether the flood of allegations that have come to light in recent weeks have surprised him, Hanks said no — because for all the positive things that come with the experience of creating a movie or TV show, there’s the underlying potential for some very negative things as well.

Hanks went on to tell a story about a time a harassment issue came up on one of his movie sets, and how important it is to take action immediately in those situations.

While the issue of sexual misconduct — and the current reckoning it’s spawning — is hardly limited to Hollywood, there are aspects of moviemaking that, Hanks said, make some people believe they can act inappropriately: “Well, we’re in the circus and we’re on the road, so therefore the rules don’t really apply.”

But Hanks — who will soon appear alongside Meryl Streep in The Post (in theaters December 22nd) — has hope for the future when it comes to creating safer workplaces for everyone. Because of the national conversation that’s now happening, people will be more aware of these issues and will be held accountable for their actions. “Is it too late to change things? No, it’s never too late to change things,” he said. “It’s never too late to learn new behaviors.” Amen.