by I. Etlin
Hollywood, the symbol for the entertainment business has been filled with rape accusations and sexual harassment claims.
During the past months, Hollywood, and its film industry, has been flooded with sexual harassment scandals, sparking controversies and movements. The first to come on spotlight was the Weinstein scandal, which was brought to the public eye by a New York Times on October 5th 2017. The article highlighted decades of sexual allegations from actresses against Harvey Weinstein, who was an extremely powerful producer of many blockbusters films (such as, Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook, amongst others). He used his superiority and power to force aspiring young actresses to do sexual favours in return for a possible career. This shocking scandal has sparked a response about sexual misconduct in the US and around the world.
Since these accusations, many women and men came forward, finding their voices to tell their stories about their assault. Some of the biggest names in entertainment have been brought up, such as, Kevin Spacey (main actor of TV series, House of Cards), Ben Affleck, James Franco, Sylvester Stallone, Dustin Hoffman and many others. This has had a severe impact on their careers, for example, some of these actors are now being banned from their shows and losing their agents, as well as fan support.
As a result of such claims, movements and protests were initiated by actresses in Hollywood, such as, the TIME’S UP movement, which was created by Reese Witherspoon who wanted to raise awareness on these terrible issues and gender inequality in workplaces. The first manifestation occurred during the Golden Globes Award where Witherspoon called on other women to stand together on the red carpet. In order to honour all the victims who came forward and shared their stories of harassment and discrimination these Hollywood celebrities wore all black during the awards. During other awards shows, such as the BAFTA and Brits awards, celebrities wore white rose pins or held white roses in order to support the TIME’S UP movement.
These series of unfortunate and horrific events is a call to society for radical changes to be implemented. Action plans have to be organized for anti-harassment and gender equality to not be seen as issues anymore, as they have to stop existing at all. Now it is about how to make a difference and create a voice for the people who do not have one. Finally, spread this movement to all people who are subjected to offensive behaviour, so that these tragic incidents can be avoided at all costs.