Since the Harvey Weinstein case broke a couple of weeks ago, a tsunami of sordid stories relaying alleged sexual crimes in Hollywood have come to light.
Weinstein himself, was accused by over forty women of sexual harassment and assault. High profile actors like Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Lupita Nyong’o all came forward with horrifying allegations against the film mogul.
But the Harvey Weinstein case wasn’t simply about stopping one, isolated individual. In fact, it’s had the opposite effect.
In recent days, more and more women (and men) have spoken out about their own harrowing encounters with Hollywood sexual predators. The bravery of those who spoke before them, instilling in them courage to do the same.
On Wednesday this week, the Los Angeles Times published a story which included accounts from six well-known female actors, including Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Rush Hour director, Brett Ratner.
Like Weinstein, Ratner denies the claims but investigations continue.
Also this week, film icon, Kevin Spacey faced accusations that he’d sexually assaulted a fourteen-year-old boy when he was in his mid-twenties. Anthony Rapp claimed that an inebriated Spacey had pinned him to a bed but he was able to break free and leave the room in time.
Unlike Weinstein and Ratner, Spacey did not deny the allegations, but did conflate them in his admission of choosing now to “live as a gay man.” His statement of apology was widely condemned for this reason.
Coming out as a gay man is not the same thing as coming out as someone who preyed on a 14-year-old. Conflating those things is disgusting
— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) October 30, 2017
Since Rapp’s claims, several other men have come forward with accusations against Spacey, whilst production of the popular TV series House of Cards in which Spacey plays protagonist, Frank Underwood has also been stalled until further notice.
Yesterday, Dustin Hoffman, a man who has experienced years of success (and subsequent power) in Hollywood, was also caught up in the raging torrent of allegations. His former intern, Anna Graham Hunter (who was just 17 at the time) claimed that Hoffman repeatedly harassed her with lewd and degrading comments and requests.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Hoffman said: “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”
And these four stories are really just the tip of the iceberg.
In recent weeks numerous, high-profile men in Hollywood have been accused of sexual misconduct, including director James Toback– facing 38 pending allegations, Entourage actor Jeremy Piven, Oscar winning actor and director, Ben Affleck, producer Roy Price, and Nickelodeon animator, Chris Savino.
Fingers are being pointed in every direction and those accused are falling over themselves trying to think up valid excuses. The trouble is, there aren’t any.
It’s been just under a month since the New York Times broke the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and in just under a month, (28 days to be precise) the flood gates in Hollywood have well and truly been opened. Each story of sexual abuse that rears its head is tragic, shameful and terrifying.
But with each story told and each perpetrator exposed, we are paving the way for a wholly different future.
A future where powerful men are far from invincible.