Hollywood has long been a world of excess, power, and privilege. But behind the glitz and glamour lies a darker side to the industry: humiliation rituals. These are practices that have been used for decades by powerful actors, directors, and producers to assert their dominance over those in less powerful positions. Let’s take a look at why these rituals exist and how they impact those subjected to them.

The History Behind Humiliation Rituals

Humiliation rituals are nothing new in Hollywood—they have been around since the beginnings of the industry. In fact, they can be traced back as far as the silent film era when starlets were often forced to partake in degrading behavior in order to get roles or keep their jobs. This is not just limited to women either; men were also subjected to these experiences. Unfortunately, these rituals are still alive and well today.

The Impact of Humiliation Rituals

Humiliation rituals can have serious psychological impacts on those subjected to them. Such experiences can lead to shame, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. They can also cause victims to feel powerless in situations where they previously felt empowered—an especially damaging consequence for young people entering into an already competitive field like Hollywood.  Additionally, humiliation rituals can create an environment where people are afraid or unwilling to report instances of sexual harassment or assault for fear of retribution from powerful individuals within the industry.

What Can Be Done?

Fortunately, there is hope that these practices will one day become a thing of the past thanks to initiatives focused on creating safe work environments for all employees in Hollywood regardless of gender or position within the industry. Additionally, organizations such as Time’s Up have helped increase public awareness about these issues and put pressure on studios and production companies to enact change from within their own ranks.


Humiliation rituals are an unfortunate part of Hollywood history that continues today despite increased awareness about its negative effects on victims both psychologically and professionally. Fortunately, there is hope that with increased pressure from organizations such as Time’s Up and internal reform initiatives from studios and production companies, we may see fewer instances of this kind of behavior in the future. Until then however, it is important for everyone working within the industry—regardless of gender or position—to remain vigilant against this type of behavior so that we can ensure everyone is treated with respect on set moving forward.

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