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BEG: Hollywood’s response to Weinstein not enough

Harvey+Weinstein+has+been+accused+of+sexual+assault+or+harassment+by+more+than+60+women.+
Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by more than 60 women.

Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by more than 60 women.

Photo by Photo via Wikimedia

Photo by Photo via Wikimedia

Harvey Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by more than 60 women.

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Big-shot Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is currently faced with numerous accusations of sexual assault. Weinstein is famous to audiences for films like “Shakespeare in Love” and “Gangs of New York,” but to many women in the entertainment industry, he is famous for his grossly inappropriate sexual contact.

More than 60 women have come forward indicting Weinstein for non-consensual sexual behavior, spanning more than 30 years. The New York Times was the first to report the news, but more and more stories continue to surface about the horrible experiences women in the industry had with Weinstein.

Weinstein has been fired from The Weinstein Company, but that is not enough. He has engrained traumatic memories in these women forever.

With Weinstein’s significant reputation in Hollywood, celebrities who have worked with him were expected to make statements regarding the news. Many have offered words of support for those affected.

Meryl Streep said, “The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.”

She recognized that those in power tend to abuse it for their own benefit, but the women who have come forward will be influential for the future.

Jessica Chastain tweeted, “I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again.”

These women have seen the severity of the situation, but there is a group of influential people in the industry whose response was just not enough.

Vague and repetitive words from men in Hollywood create no real sense of comfort. They use the same fluffy phrases to claim they are helping while contributing no substantial effort.

Ben Affleck made his statement on Twitter, writing, “I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers, and daughters.”

Affleck tried to write himself as the hero of the narrative, but from his words, it seems that he sees the women as objects he needs to protect. Rose McGowan, a victim of the Weinstein assaults, replied to Affleck’s statement saying Affleck was aware of Weinstein’s behavior but did nothing to publicly prevent it.

Matt Damon, another influential celebrity, said in an interview that men “have to be vigilant and we have to help protect and call this stuff out because we have our sisters and our daughters and our mothers.”

Similar to Affleck’s statement, Damon responds with concern because of the familial relationship he has with women. This is a problem because it places emphasis on a woman’s relationship to men, rather than on their humanity. Women deserve the same human decency that men receive.

Hollywood, by nature, is a progressive community -but to protect their careers, men in the industry ignored the situation. They create an image of being promoters and defenders of social justice, but when it is time to shine, they cannot muster up enough of an attempt to enact real change.

This does not mean that all people in Hollywood are doing sub-standard work in the face of injustice, but there are enough powerful people doing little to nothing.

The entertainment industry has allowed influential people to write simple and inconsequential tweets, and has told them that is sufficient. In actuality, these words are not enough for those oppressed to truly feel like they are being supported and encouraged.

 

 

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