Joan Jett Says #MeToo Impact Hasn’t Hit Music Yet
Joan Jett said the #MeToo campaign hadn’t yet impacted the music industry and other walks of life, but that she was sure it would happen soon.
She also discussed her experiences in the Runaways and the responsibilities of being seen as a role model.
“Why has [#MeToo] been slow to hit all the other industries except for Hollywood?” she asked in a new interview with Rolling Stone. “As far as I can tell, bad behavior is everywhere you look. We just saw something on the news about a Catholic priest in Pennsylvania where they just printed a bunch of [alleged molesters’] names, but I think the church has done it because they had to. And Hollywood’s done it a little because they had to. I’m sure it’s coming. I just don’t know when the shoe is gonna drop. I’m sure the people who control those mechanisms on when things drop are controlling it. But I’m not sure how that’s done.”
She added that she wasn’t sure how to address the disbalance of gender representation at senior levels of the music industry. “I think one of the big things would be getting more women into positions of power so they can be the decision makers, because we think differently and break down problems differently,” she suggested.
Jett rejected the idea that she’d been a victim of exploitation at the hands of late Runaways manager Kim Fowley. “I don’t really see things the way the other girls see things,” she said. “I happened to get along with Kim very well. We were very good friends. He never made me feel uncomfortable. I never felt exploited by him.
“The thing is, these girls could’ve walked away any time if they were uncomfortable. Nobody was forced to do anything. … I find a lot of people blame Kim, because he’s dead. So he can’t come and talk about anything. … All these people could’ve taken off at any point. Nobody was making anyone stay so if they were uncomfortable and didn’t like it. Why were you hanging out? I don’t get it.”
Asked about her position as a role model, Jett replied, “You just want to make sure you’re putting out good things that hopefully people want to model themselves after to a degree. I really enjoy seeing little boys and girls in the audience and talking to them. I don’t have kids myself, so it’s always a learning experience to see what they know.”
On the topic of being seen as an LGBT icon, she said "It’s the same as being any other icon to a degree. I certainly know how much abuse people in that community have dealt with over the years. So I’m here to stand alongside everybody and say, ‘I get it. I understand the challenge and the fight.’”
Jett is the subject of documentary movie Bad Reputation, which opens in theaters today.