The Golden Falcon responds to the Sexual Harassment Allegations in Hollywood
By Sapna Humar and Abi Parameswaran
So many allegations, such little time—how can this be justified? It’s been less than two months since the Harvey Weinstein scandal began to unfold, and yet, there have been numerous accusations toward other men in power positions since then. It seems that this case was the catalyst for many victims to come forward and bring these people to justice. It seems incomprehensible and malicious, to see men, and even women, in power abuse their authority in such a way to harm those who are simply trying to make a living in this complicated society.
It all started on October 5, when the New York Times published an article where decades of allegations against Harvey Weinstein were brought forth by well-known actresses such as Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd. Later on, after the news blew up, Weinstein was fired by the board of his company. Numerous celebrities, such as Brie Larson and George Clooney, openly responded to the Weinstein allegations, which spurred the Twitter hashtag “#MeToo,” which flooded social media with stories of harassment and assault all across the world. This hashtag brought to life the story of many other women and men who continuously struggle to face their sexual harassment issues within their own lives
Over the next two months, it seemed like every news story was about men or women who used to be respected, but now had been accused of sexual assault or harassment. The next big-time actor to be accused was Kevin Spacey, just over a month ago. Even more recently, on November 29th, American television journalist Matt Lauer was accused of “inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace” and his employment was promptly terminated by NBC News. Another case, brought forward on December 4th, had Melanie Martinez, famous singer-songwriter, accused of rape by her former friend. This proves how it is not only men who commit these disgusting acts, but women as well, and both should be given equal punishment for their crimes. For these allegations to come out so recently shows that this issue is far from over and there are, without doubt, many more men and women out there who have so far gotten away with it. Hopefully, they will receive retribution as more and more victims stand up for themselves and others like them.
Of course, it is impossible to discuss sexual harassment without mentioning Donald Trump, President of the United States, and a very controversial figure in the media. He has over twenty different allegations against him from a variety of women, including his ex-wife, yet was still elected into office, giving us a hint as to where American priorities truly lie.
These atrocities can never truly be justified. Simple apologies and ignorance should not be the approach of the abuser—there must be real change seen in society. The fact that people are able to come forward and talk about these serious events already show the progression that is being made on the issue of sexual abuse and assault. However, it should not end there. People should continue to speak up about the injustices they face, and steps should be taken to ensure that this ruthless behaviour is halted. The countless allegations within the past weeks are unjustifiable, and the fact that so many stories have been brought to light in such little time shows the seriosity and longevity of this issue. It is time for this to stop. It is time to take a stand, one story at a time.
Perhaps it was Weinstein’s case that gave victims the courage to come forward, or maybe it was our changing society, that is slowly moving towards the de-stigmatization of sexual assault. Whatever it was, whether they be famous celebrities or middle-class workers, victims of sexual harassment and assault are no longer afraid to openly accuse the wrongdoer. They are no longer afraid to bring the perpetrators to justice, even though they may be men or women in powerful positions. The benefits of social media can clearly be seen with these cases as the bandwidth of victims from all across the world are coming together to voice their hidden stories. The past two months have been revolutionary for this topic and for these people, and if we continue on our current path as a society, if we continue to support and accept victims of sexual assault, our future will better and brighter than ever. Change is happening and these two months are proof of it. The difference that can be seen through word of mouth and awareness is truly profound, and will only lead to good things ahead.
Abi and Sapna are grade 11 students at FHCI and are both part of the editorial team of The Golden Falcon newspaper.