“Gatekeeper” is Reyez’s chilling account of an incident in which a high-profile producer tried to force himself on her. She sent director Peter Huang an email detailing what had happened, and he translated it into a video treatment that serves as her direct recollection — some of the dialogue between Reyez and the producer, he said, is word for word. In the video, that confrontation is reenacted to chilling results, shining a light on the sexism and misogyny that pervades the music industry.
“At the time, I was trying to shine light on something that nobody had seen, so it was more like exposing how somebody who has a lot of power can try to manipulate people who think that if they didn’t do what they said, that their careers might be over. That was really the overall goal of it: to expose it,” Huang told MTV News.
What the director says:
The video was released in April 2017, months before the #MeToo movement went viral. It was serendipitous timing, and it helped give Reyez the courage to out producer Detail as the man who inspired the track. Now, Huang said the reaction he gets the most from people is, “How do we actively work to change this?”
How Jessie embodies that message:
“She’s a very, very strong woman,” Huang said. “I think it’s incredibly brave of her to actually put herself through this whole situation again. I’m not sure if people who are watching it realize that she’s kind of reliving something that was really hard on her.” He added, “I think she can carry herself in a way that inspires other young women to be bold and to really dig their heels in, in whatever situation comes to them,” Huang said.