Harvey Weinstein: One of Hollywood’s Alleged Sexual Offenders

courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Sara Raubvogel, Outreach Editor

Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment scandal brought intense societal criticism of Hollywood.

On October 5, The New York Times reported that several actresses who previously worked with Weinstein, including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan, released allegations of sexual harassment against him. Following the article’s publication, Weinstein released an apology and took a leave of absence from The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded. Later, the company fired Weinstein.

Soon after, on October 6, Weinstein’s attorney Lisa Bloom stated that Weinstein “denies many of the accusations as patently false.” Lisa Bloom resigned the next day.

The Weinstein Company terminated Weinstein’s employment, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts suspended Weinstein’s membership, and the Oscars committee voted to expel Weinstein, all within one week.

Many celebrities, men and women, have a lot to say about this issue, and most of the comments are not positive.

“It’s indefensible. That’s the only word you can start with,” George Clooney told The Daily Beast.

Barack Obama also spoke up in a stating, “Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status. We should celebrate the courage of women who have come forward to tell these painful stories. And we all need to build a culture… by empowering our girls and teaching our boys decency and respect, so we can make such behavior less prevalent in the future.”

Not only are these public speakers speaking up for woman, but several actors are pointing out masculine victims.

Emma Watson tweeted, “I also stand with all the men, indeed any person, who has suffered sexual harassment.”

These events have shown the public a peek inside Hollywood’s recurring scandals, and most individuals reacted similarly.

Woodside High School Freshman Sydney Truesdale said, “This scandal reflects to me that Hollywood is very secretive, unfair, and dirty. I strongly dislike how a cocky man [thinks] he could get away with sexually harassing women just because he’s rich [and famous].”

Woodside Freshman Tommy Ashworth agrees that the Harvey Weinstein scandal is very important because of the mindset these famous people have.

“It’s important because it allows a false sense of security to those people who are high up in the media. They think that because of their fame and fortune, they think they can do whatever they want, but they can’t,” Ashworth reports.

One in four women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. One in six women and one in thirty-three men will experience attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

Clovis’s Buchanan High School junior Hannah Wolfe believes the Hollywood commotion impacts our community. “Today’s scandals have changed society in that we talk more about sexual assault and other prominent issues. This is really important because the more we talk about it, the more informed people are on the consequences of [sexual harassment].”

On the other hand, Truesdale does not think today’s culture has been very affected. The sexual harassment statistics are increasing. For example, on college campuses, there has been a 205 percent increase in sexual harassment reports between 2001 (2200 reports) and 2014 (6700 reports).

“I don’t think society has changed as much at it should. The scandals should show that these crimes are not acceptable and not tolerated. I wish society would change and sexual harassment would go away; however, I don’t see the progress,” Truesdale explained.

Although the consequences for the perpetrators are getting worse, they continue to perpetuate. In today’s world, social media rapidly blows up issues like the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which makes the story more well known. The popularity increases the ramifications, but it doesn’t seem to affect the actions of the offenders.

Agreeing with Truesdale, Ashworth’s thinks that Harvey Weinstein has not visibly changed modern civilization. However, he has high hopes for what the future might bring.

“Today’s society hasn’t entirely changed, but [this scandal] has opened up a lot of people’s eyes about awareness of this problem, but it hasn’t really changed people’s actions. People are talking about incidents like these, but the problem is that these words aren’t changing actions. I hope that one day, people will realize that they need to start acting on these issues instead of just talking about them, because they are important. Maybe in the future, we’ll see.”