Trigger warning: details of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and there are videos attached in this article below.
There are so many talented directors and actors who create a lot of our favourite Hollywood movies. They have made critically acclaimed movies and won awards for the work they have contributed to the industry. They have been legends, icons and revolutionary filmmakers for countless years. Actors and actresses are waiting for a chance to work with these critically acclaimed actors and directors.
But some of these critically acclaimed directors and actors are problematic. They are rapists and predators. Somehow, these actions are overlooked in Hollywood because “separate the art from the artist” comes into play when these Hollywood bigshots are accused of abuse, harassment and predatory misconduct.
Should the “separate the art from the artist” be used as an excuse to stay complicit in the argument? Why do we give second chances to predatory men in Hollywood? Why are predatory men still being kept hidden and not exposed for their inexcusable behaviour?
There are so many directors and actors that were exposed of raping, sexually assaulting and harassing women in the film industry. From Woody Allen to Johnny Depp. They all have starred in big franchises, still making movies and winning awards without bearing any consequences for their actions. Countless women have come forward with stories about them assaulting and harassing them in the workplace or even at home. But they are being told that those stories aren’t true and these men could never have done that.
Victims are being silenced in the film industry, but not only that, their lives and careers are jeopardized for coming out and telling the truth. These bigshot Hollywood elites are using their toxic masculinity to pay the victims off to keep them from saying anything in the press. This is rape culture.
Woody Allen sexually assaulted his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow when she was seven years old. In the open letter, she describes the molestation in detail. Dylan Farrow spoke about this because she refused to stay silent any longer and let her abuser prosper in the film industry. What’s even bizarre about this is that, even after these accusations were made, Woody Allen was never convicted of the crime. His credibility was never tarnished.
“Woody Allen is a living testament to the way our society fails the survivors of sexual assault and abuse.”
— Dylan Farrow
Actresses like, Kate Winslet, Blake Lively and Kristen Stewart worked with Woody Allen in his recent film despite all those allegations against him. Their excuse was that the did not know Woody Allen and knows nothing about his family, Kate Winslet said. As an actor, it was important for her to stay away from all of that and be sure if any of those allegations against him was true. I mean, who would want to not work with great directors like Woody Allen, or even Roman Polanski? Woody Allen would later win a lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes.
Roman Polanski is another great director that Hollywood actors and actresses love and adore so much. This man pleaded guilty to statutory rape of Samantha Geimer who was 13 years old in 1979, but he fled the country before he was sentenced. There were explicit details of the molestation and rape. It should be noted that the testimonies given by Samantha Geimer and Roman Polanski were very different. And guess who’s story the public decided to believe even after all the evidence was made? Even after multiple women came forward with rape and molestation allegations against Roman Polanski?
Hollywood has a systemic problem for silencing and gaslighting their victims to boost the careers of these predatory men. Even in the media, it is pretty evident that the media plays a crucial role. The media plays a huge part in publicizing and also, giving platforms for these predators and rapists a chance for us to hear their side of the story. This is, yes, rape culture.
Why you ask? Because we do not need to listen their side of the story. When media outlets are giving platforms for rapists and predators a chance to tell their side of the story, they are complicit and taking part in silencing abuse victims. Predators and rapists should not be given another chance, period.
This is not complicated to understand. It is really that simple. To suggest or even think the actors and actresses had to come to the conclusion that they didn’t want to side with the victim. They willingly chose to disregard and say “we don’t know these people”. None of the allegations were false. Unless you’re suggesting that the victim was lying about it. Yes, if you stay complicit or continue to work with predators like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, you’re choosing to stay complicit, avoid the bigger issue and take part in rape culture.
Yes, your inability to stand with the victim makes you a sole apprentice to rape culture. Your ability to work with their rapists makes you accomplice. It made me shocking to some people to admit it, because it always comes down to “separate the art from the artist”. How is it that difficult for Hollywood elites to not work with predators and rapists like Woody Allen and Roman Polanski? Are your careers more important that the lives of their abuse victims? Roman Polanski would later win an Oscar.
A few weeks ago, Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of The Weinstein Company, has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting multiple women for more than 20 years. His victims have come forward with stories about what happened during their encounter with them. It was interesting how this “scandal” was played out in the media. So many celebrities shared their story of how they did not know that Harvey Weinstein behaved this way. Some applauded the women that shared their story. Some knew about the “rumours” and say that they feel ashamed that they stayed silent and did nothing.
Some of the celebrities that knew about the allegations/rumors against Harvey Weinstein were people whom they had worked with him before. They felt guilty that they had not come out against Harvey Weinstein any time sooner. Your feelings about how guilty you felt is by far the last thing that anyone needs to know about.
Multiple women that were sexually harassed and assaulted by Harvey Weinstein came forward with their statements on social media.
Harvey Weinstein has been fired from his company after multiple reports of sexual harassments and assaults.
All of the celebrities that came about making statements against Harvey Weinstein were complicit during Woody Allen and Roman Polanski’s rape cases. In fact, when Roman Polanski was arrested on his way to accept a lifetime achievement award in Zurich and detained in immigration. A petition was signed against his arrest, including Natalie Portman, Tilda Swinton, Isabelle Huppert, Penelope Cruz, Diane von Furstenberg, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Martin Scorsese, Monica Bellucci, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Harmony Korine, Ethan Cohen, David Lynch, and Harrison Ford.
There were also some celebrities who had previously sexually abusing women or were silent when their relative was accused of sexually harassing women. In 2005, Christian Slater was arrested and charged with third-degree sexual abuse and one count of battery after assaulting a girlfriend while intoxicated.
Casey Affleck, Ben Affleck’s brother, has been accused of sexually harassing two women in 2010. According to one of the women, Casey Affleck had crawled into bed without her consent while she was sleeping. The other victim told that she was pressured to stay in his hotel room. He had violently grabbed her by the arm when she refused to stay. To this day, Casey Affleck has denied that any of these allegations were true. Casey Affleck would later win an Oscar.
Let’s talk about Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for a second. Ben Affleck issued a statement regarding the Harvey Weinstein ‘scandal’:
Where was the outrage when your brother was accused of sexually harassing women years ago? Why didn’t you say anything when your brother was accused of it?
This isn’t just about the silence from Ben Affleck during Casey Affleck’s sexual harassment allegations. This is about all of the celebrities that was silent when Woody Allen, Roman Polanski, Casey Affleck, Johnny Depp, Bill Cosby, Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson were accused for violent and predatory crimes. All of the celebrities that released statements about the Harvey Weinstein ‘scandal’ didn’t release statements for any of the people above. Instead, you enabled by giving them awards and made movies with them.
Minutes after he posted that statement, reports of two old interviews surfaced of Ben Affleck groping two women.
Another women came forward saying that Ben Affleck had groped her in 2014.
Later, Ben Affleck released a statement about those incidents:
See the difference between these two statements? You wrote an entire essay about your pal, Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault and is this how little you had to say about yours? Your apology is bullshit. Your apology is not going to heal any victims that you have assaulted or harassed. Your apology is unnecessary when you haven’t spoken against your brother Casey Affleck’s sexual harassment allegations. Ben Affleck would later win an Oscar.
I find it hard to believe that Ben Affleck or even, Matt Damon didn’t know about the predatory allegations against their pal, Harvey Weinstein. Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Harvey Weinstein have worked in several movies together for a very long time.
There was also an article that reported, Matt Damon had helped his pal, Harvey Weinstein cover a story about his sexual behaviour towards
In 2004, it was reported that a New York Times reporter was writing a story about Harvey Weinstein sexual behaviour. The reports said that Fabrizio Lombardo, the ex-Miramax executive, which also happens to be the production company that Harvey Weinstein co-founded, had used to set up meetings for Harvey Weinstein with women at hotel rooms. Fabrizio Lombardo denied the accusations against him, but one woman came out saying that he was lying about it.
The victim, Asia Argento, who said Fabrizio Lombardo was the person who had told her to go to Harvey Weinstein’s hotel room.
Matt Damon had denied that he tried to ‘kill the story’ and only called the New York Times reporter to vouch for Fabrizio Lombardo’s reputation and professionalism. He claims his pal, Harvey Weinstein never displayed this kind of predatory behaviour around him. He also claims that the celebrities in Hollywood did not know about the sexual behaviour of Harvey Weinstein.
I will say this again, I find that statement difficult to believe. There were multiple women and men, before and after this ‘scandal’ was exposed, said they knew about Harvey Weinstein sexual and predatory behaviour. Hollywood is a big industry and I can’t imagine that people wouldn’t know about this at all. It just seems performative and dishonest. There would have been producers, directors and actors, close to Harvey Weinstein, who would have known about his predatory behaviour. These rumors have been surfaced around since 2005, and that is why it’s hard for me to believe that people didn’t know about.
Matt, just because it happens behind closed doors does not mean that the sexual allegations were never true. You can’t be that oblivious in an industry like this. And Matt, do you have anything to say about Casey Affleck’s sexual harassment allegations?
When male celebrities made the statements regarding the Harvey Weinstein’s case, they used their daughters as an excuse the actions of Harvey Weinstein. You needed to have a daughter to understand the abuse and violence that women go through in this world? Because you have a daugher, you respect women now? Stop saything that. Women exist outside of your fucking bubble. You don’t need to have a daughter to understand it at all. You don’t need to have a daughter to finally understand morality.
It’s not just women that are being sexually assaulted and harassed in Hollywood, men are victim to the abuse too. Several men came forward with their stories of abuse. Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek had come out with stories of how powerful men had groped and engaged in inappropriate behaviour with them.
There shouldn’t be any comparison between the male and female victims of abuse, abuse is abuse at the end of the day. However when men are abused, and when they want to complain about behaviour that targets towards them in a derogatory way, they are often dismissed or to “man up”. Hollywood is filled with predators that prey on men. The reason that men cannot come forward and name names is that, people do not believe that they can be harassed too.
The reason that a lot of the victims didn’t come forward with sexual allegations against predatory men in Hollywood is that their career would have been jeopardized. Nobody should blame them for not coming forward. Powerful, predatory men in a systemic industry like Hollywood have tools to control the victims like that. Victim blaming and the power to silence them are aspects of rape culture. It should also be reminded that, the abuse victims should not be blamed for not coming forward. The blame is entirely on the entourage and the industry that was protecting Harvey Weinstein all these years without facing any consequences. Firing him from his company and removing him from the Academy board isn’t going to change anything. You have people like, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Mel Gibson and Bill Cosby on the board, so when are you going to remove them?
I have no respect and patience for the people that were sitting around and protecting this abusive monster. I do not care that you have daughters that made you finally understand the abuse and trauma that women go through in this world. I do not care when abusers talk about how sympathetic they are towards the victims of sexual assault. I do not care that you are an award winning and critically acclaimed director or actor in the film industry. I do not care that you didn’t thank him at the Oscars.
To all the women that spoke out against Harvey Weinstein and other powerful and abusive men in the following weeks, I am truly sorry for what you went through all those years. The fact that you stood up and spoke against him means that you are a very strong individual. You are so courageous for sharing your story.
For those women who are not able to share their stories, it doesn’t mean that nobody believes or hears you. You are in no way responsible for what happened. You shouldn’t be forced to share your story, if you are uncomfortable to do so.