How many sexual predators are currently roaming around free in Hollywood? Well, in just the last few days, members of Hollywood’s own royalty have outed countless predators who, to the best of our knowledge, have not been brought to justice. And unless and until these predators are identified and charged, what we have on our hands is a city teeming with the kind of criminals who are more likely than any other to repeat their crimes.
There is not a story being told that is not heartbreaking, devastating, chilling, and unforgettable. All of these helpless young women and men assaulted and stripped of their innocence by real-life monsters, by men enabled within a Hollywood culture that, as we have seen, makes it nearly impossible for the shattered victims to identify their abuser.
Even in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal — an alleged predator many now claim they and untold others knew about, a man accused of hunting countless innocent women over three decades — the victims still do not feel comfortable identifying their abusers.
No one can blame them. It is up to the powerful in Hollywood to end its enabling omerta, to replace it with a culture that encourages these women to come forward. But it is becoming more and more obvious by the day that this will never happen. The Motion Picture Academy, the Producers Guild…all are circling the wagons to keep the scandal in-house, to ensure the wildfire touches no one other than Weinstein.
Which means that these emotionally shattered men and women will never feel comfortable coming forward, which means that, at the very least, almost all of the following monsters still roam free to destroy others:
…the pigs who preyed on 13 year-old Molly Ringwald.
…the monster who sexually assaulted nine year-old America Ferrera.
…the music executives who abused and allowed the abuse of Kaya Jones.
…the director who sexually assaulted 16-year-old Reese Witherspoon.
…the director who harassed and punished Björk.
…the men who sexually assaulted Corey Haim and Corey Feldman as children.
…the man who assaulted Terry Crews.
…the men who assaulted James Van Der Beek.
….the countless, unnamed “predators” in the fashion industry.
…the man who sexually assaulted 16-year-old Laura Dern.
…the doctor who molested a 13-year-old McKayla Maroney.
…the TV executive who assaulted Maureen Ryan.
…this A-List animal.
…Lady Gaga’s abuser.
…Gabrielle Union’s abuser.
…the producer who declared a 15-year-old Jennifer Lawrence “f**kable.”
And that is merely the tip of the #MeToo iceberg.
Keep in mind that what is alleged here are not wolf whistles. These are crimes. Crimes!
Again, we cannot blame the victims. The problem is the system, a Hollywood system of omerta that traumatizes even those working on the crew, a system that allows this to happen:
“I’ve been on a couple of shows where the entire crew was required to sit through a one-hour course on harassment with a quiz at the end,” one woman told THR. “On one of those shows, I had a supervisor physically assault me on the very same day and within hours after having attended the course. I decided not to complain to HR because of my previous negative experiences.”
Another woman said she was told not to report an incident of harassment because she’d be branded a “liability” by potential future employers, while yet another employee said she was actually taunted by a male co-worker, who told her that the company’s Human Resources department would not address her claim. Yet many of these employees don’t speak up, fearing their less-visible status in the film industry does not afford them the protection that the business’s biggest stars may receive.
What we have here is an epidemic of systemic sexual abuse victimizing cast and crew alike. No one is safe. And there is no other industry where this kind of rape culture would be allowed to flourish without challenge. But when you have a corrupt national media that make network presidents of wannabe screenwriters, that is a whole other level of enabling.
How many victims must pile up before Hollywood’s elite decide it is time to do something more than self-serving damage control? How many young lives must be destroyed before our media demand the involvement of an outside task force or action from the Justice Department or a congressional inquiry?
Afterward, you are rarely presented with even a single good option. Stay silent and you have acquiesced to whatever happened. Tell a friend and nothing much will be done. Come forward to an authority figure and you’ll face unfair consequences: people will be uncomfortable around you, perceiving ulterior motives; people will look for reasons that this happened to you, specifically; maybe you simply won’t be believed. There will be retribution—the power dynamic in these situations makes it a foregone conclusion. Men like Harvey Weinstein prey on women who are inexperienced enough that they can be penalized if they say no and implicated if they give in. — Jia Tolentino – October 11, 2017.