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OPINION: Harvey Weinstein and the Corruption of Hollywood

By Haley Haverda, Clementine Larouillh, Reporter

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By this point, almost anybody who’s glanced at the internet knows the name of Harvey Weinstein. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, former director and certified pervert Harvey Weinstein has been sexually abusing and molesting women for over twenty years, and only recently has any of this come out simply because of the power and status that he held in Hollywood.  

A comment from the New York Times explains, “It is disheartening to see so many comments already blaming women for not “speaking up.” Please count yourself lucky that you’ve never had your career on the line based on whether or not you sleep with your boss. It has nothing to do with fame and riches; this happens to women making minimum wage in retail as well as women who fought through it to become CEOs.”

This issue is so convoluted that there exists a problem in the problem. What Weinstein did was awful, but what’s even more horrifying is the fact that this issue has been hidden for so long. You’d think that in an environment like that of Hollywood, where when Kylie Jenner has a boob job everybody knows within five minutes, that something on a scale such as this would not be able to be kept under wraps. You’d think. Sadly, that is not the case. However, there is evidence to prove that maybe the affair was not so secret after all.

In a deleted Facebook post, Seth Rosenberg stated, “Let’s be perfectly clear about one thing: Everybody knew. And do you know how I am sure this is true? Because I was there. And I saw you. And I talked about it with you. You, the big producers; you, the big directors; you, the big agents; you, the big financiers.”

However bad the situation is, it gets worse. Weinstein is not the only sexual offender in Hollywood, but he’s the only one who’s been caught and who is suffering the consequences. James Toback, who the LA Times reports, sexually abused 38 women. Bill Cosby who was charged with aggravated indecent assault in 2004, when he drugged and violated former Temple University basketball staffer Andrea Constand, then claimed it was “consensual”. Roger Ailes, former top executive of Fox News was ousted when his former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Fox News paid Bill O’Reilly 13 million dollars in settlement against women who’d accused him of sexual harassment since 2002. That’s only the short list.

Donald Trump, Roy Price, Bob Weinstein, Chris Savino, Tyler Grasham, John Besh, Rohit Varma,  David Carrera, Chris Sacca, Justin Caldbeck, Mike Cagney, David McClure, L.A. Reid, Hadrian Belove, Harry Knowles, Eric Bolling, Travis Kalanick, Amit Singhal, Casey Affleck, Lukasz Gottwald,  R. Kelly, Steven Seagal, Anthony Weiner, Mike Tyson, Roman Polanski, Larry Nassar, Woody Allen, John Travolta, Bryan Singer, Gary Glitter, Sean Penn, Tupac Shakur, and the Rapper Nelly. This is the incomplete long list.

Following Weinstein’s assault allegations, he was fired from his company and ousted from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following the major accusations. Which was extremely surprising on Hollywood’s part because after most sexual assault scandals little, if anything, is done to condemn the assailant. Woody Allen still works in Hollywood after it came to light that he sexually assaulted his adoptive daughter; Roman Polanski, convicted rapist of “unlawful sex” with a 13 year old girl, was just honored at La Cinémathèque Francaise, a prestigious Paris cinema museum. Of course who could forget Donald Trump, who has had three assault accusations filed in court,17 public assault accusations while he was on the TV show The Apprentice, as well as when he was sponsoring the Miss Teen USA pageant and who is now the President of the United States.

Men aren’t the only the only ones responsible for the corrupt nature of Hollywood show biz’; actresses and singers also carry the blame. Women are just as capable of sexaully assulting men and other women. Lena Dunham, HBO actress on the TV show Girls, spoke in her memoir about very concerning actions she had performed on her younger sister. Madonna exposed an underage fan’s chest on stage in front of a crowd of thousands. Model Ali Michael told 14-year-old Finn Wolfhard to “hit her up” in four years. Pedophiles apparently are acceptable in Hollywood, the land where the fatter your butt is, the more respect you gain.

Since Weinstein’s behavior has been revealed, many more actors and actresses have come forward with their own assault stories since being active in Hollywood. Weinstein was only the beginning, and the only thing that can be done now is to move forward in the best way possible:  calling out those responsible.

The fact is, Hollywood has a culture of hiding its bad aspects, covering up the ugly to present a glittering facade of fame and glory. It’s an unhealthy costume, one that needs to be shed as soon as possible. The more that is revealed about the going ons behind the diamond curtain, the more will be done to solve the problem. It’s like a sickness. First, doctors need to find what is the illness, before a cure can be administered.

The sickness in Hollywood has been found. Now all that’s left is to administer the cure.

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