Since the New York Times published its investigation into Harvey Weinstein on Oct. 5, more than 20 other entertainment industry leaders have been accused of sexual misconduct. Louis C.K., Kevin Spacey and former MSNBC and NBC News contributor Mark Halperin are just a few.
The problem isn’t just male-on-female harrassment or assault, though. Spacey has been accused by several men of assault. Former child star, Corey Haim, was known to be a victim of Hollywood pedophilia, though no one was accused before his death in 2010. Haim’s friend and fellow child star, Corey Feldman, has claimed for years to know the identity of the man, as well as many others in the industry, who hurt his friend and others.
Many of the accused are directors, producers and company executives. In other words, the men accused are the gatekeepers to the entertainment industry, the ones who say yes or no to a person’s big break, the ones who make or break people’s careers.
For years, it has been public knowledge that these men were predators. News reports trace back decades upon decades, accusing countless industry leaders of misconduct. But the power of public relations has won time and time again, and more often than not, no fallback has occurred.
Why? There are many factors, but two of them stand out: the first, that the gatekeepers have been able to close the doors faster than their sins could creep out; and secondly, consumers have continued to support these men.
It’s not as simple as no longer buying into their markets. As reports have spread and new names have been named, consumers have been faced with the stark reality that the movies, music and television they love are stained, darkened by the veil of the hidden shame of those who were forced to do unthinkable things in order to simply get through a day’s work.
The unveiling is bringing to light what has been ruining lives since long before the first camera began rolling.
The entertainment industry and its consumers are now faced with a decision: to part ways with predators and remove any echoes of pride for them or to sweep it under the rug after a short time of reform.
Historically, the pseudo-reform has won.
However, the snowball effect has begun: each day brings new accusations, brings new realities to the surface. It is not just women walking down dark alleys or wearing scanty clothing who are in danger, but then again, it never has been.
Predators are to blame, and never their victims.
Those who are complicit in the crimes of predators are to blame, and never their victims.
We have been made aware. Consumers can no longer claim plausible deniability. What we choose to do from here on out—join in complicity or stand firm on justice—is imperative to entertainment reform.
Nobody’s art is worth somebody’s soul, and it’s up to consumers to make sure that this statement becomes reality.