A Rory Carroll Guardian piece about an atmosphere of fear and trepidation among the Hollywood elite popped this morning. This climate of paranoia is due, of course, to numerous allegations of sexual misconduct that have surfaced over the last few weeks, which in turn have everyone wondering “who’s next?” Carroll knows the Hollywood beat as well as any top-tier trade reporter, but it’s telling that the only person who would go on the record with him is Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone.

“Anxiety pervades Hollywood,” Stone tells Carroll. “There’s a lot of nervousness. People don’t know where this is going. Everybody is asking who will be next. Publicists are paid to keep stories down and control the message but now they’re in a situation where the truth comes out faster than they can control the message. It’s like gasoline. As soon as a story breaks, whoosh.”

Honestly? Carroll reached out to yours truly, but I said I couldn’t help. When you give an interview you can never be exactly sure how your words will sound according to sentence structure, context and whatnot. “The whole town is skittish,” a journalist observed this morning. “I get it. You could talk to a journo for 20 minutes and make solid, nuanced, empathetic points, and then the one little bit that’s used triggers backlash.”

Not to mention that the slightest expression of concern about rush-to-judgment condemnations could result in the finger being turned around and pointed at anyone expressing such concern. Decent people everywhere agree with the general condemnation of inappropriate or assaultive behavior, but it’s wiser to keep it to that. Former Hollywood Reporter editor Janice Min can express concern about a “Robespierre French Revolution”-like mentality but if a guy says this in a major publication….forget it.