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Rose McGowan Cancels All Upcoming Appearances Because She Has Activism to Do

Ever since news of Harvey Weinstein’s abuses broke, actress-director-activist Rose McGowan has been at the center of a lot of support, backlash, and everything in between. Add onto that the general emotional overwhelm we’ve all felt as all the “me toos” started rolling out, and it’s understandable that McGowan might not be too keen on flash bulbs and film industry hoopla right now.

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McGowan had been invited to attend the Tallgrass Film Festival in Wichita today to receive the Ad Astra Award for her work in independent film, as well as host a screening of her short film, Dawn (starring Casual‘s Tara Lynne Barr).

However, last night McGowan sent word that she was not only unable to attend the festival but, according to E! News, she was canceling “all upcoming public appearances due to compounding factors surrounding recent revelations in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment case.”

The festival gave her full support in her decision. Tallgrass Creative Director Lela Meadow-Conner said in a statement, “While we’re disappointed that Rose cannot be here with us in person, we understand that her well being is the priority. We support her and our thoughts are with her. We’ll seize this opportunity to amplify her message and celebrate all the women filmmakers with works here at the 15th annual festival.”

To that end, they have pulled together a panel of women filmmakers who will be attending the festival with their films for a frank conversation about how to make a more equitable and safe film industry. Titled #WokeWomen: A Candid Conversation with Tallgrass’ Female Filmmakers, the panel will be held tonight at 9 PM, hosted by Amy Nicholson and John Wildman, and feature Dorie Barton, Skye Borgman, Madeleine Cooke, Simoné Nortmann, Deborah Pearl, Devin Sanchez and Deborah Riley Williams.

And McGowan’s spirit will still infuse everything. Says the festival’s Program Director, Nick Pope, “Tallgrass has sought to honor Rose McGowan for three years now as we have always felt she epitomizes our motto: Stubbornly independent. We also felt that, in the process of the deserved attention her activism receives, arguably her presence as an independent film icon and genuine filmmaking talent can get lost in the mix. It was our goal to shine a light on her career and her talent and put that part of the Rose McGowan equation front and center for a very special evening. We will still honor her achievements from afar.”

McGowan should absolutely take whatever time she needs to do what she needs to do for herself, because the world needs outspoken voices like hers in the fight. Eventually, she’ll bring her activist voice back to her storytelling and film life, and will remain a force to be reckoned with.

Until then, there’s nothing saying we have to wait for her to do it. Let’s all use our talents to strengthen the fight for equality ourselves, shall we?

(image: Shutterstock)

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Teresa Jusino
Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.

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