The Solitaire

Sexual Harassment in Hollywood

Support victims is with anti-sexual violence organizations such as the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN). RAINN offers a 24/7 national sexual assault hotline providing confidential support, access to health care facilities and information about local laws. The RAINN website offers information on how to stay safe and help a friend or family member affected.-- Number: 800.656.HOPE (4673) Website: https://www.rainn.org/about-rainn

Hollywood has been shaken up by recently emerging rape and sexual allegations against celebrities. Due to these alleged sexual predators having positions of power, many of these stories have been under wraps for years and victims’ secrets have been kept.

 

Though it may seem like these scandals have only been going on recently, sexual assault has a long history in Hollywood. Some recorded scandals go as far back as the 1920s. Just a few include American model and actress, Virginia Rappe, who died in 1921. Only a day after being raped, she died from extreme physical effects due to her traumatic experience, according to smithsonianmag.com. Her rapist was Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, a million-dollar movie comedian. After a long trial, Arbuckle was charged with manslaughter.

 

In 1940 when rising star, Shirley Temple, was only 12 years old, MGM producer Arthur Freed, exposed himself to her, according to nytimes.com. In 1963, actress Joan Collins was denied the lead role in the movie “Cleopatra”, for refusing sexual advances from the studio head, Darryl Zanuck, according to dailytelegraph.com.

 

Scandals that have circulated recently include a large amount of very well known celebrities, including Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly forced inappropriate behavior on at least 83 women, according to usatoday.com. Most of these women, who were on the rise in the entertainment industry, were forced into submission and silence because their careers and images threatened if they spoke out about their experiences.

 

Another alleged sexual predator is Bill Cosby. The accusations against Cosby span back for five decades, according to latimes.com. Other alleged sexual predators that have recently been brought into light are Danny Masterson, who starred in That 70’s Show, Gene Simmons, bassist for Kiss, John Lasseter, director for Toy Story and Toy Story 2, filmmaker Woody Allen, and singer Melanie Martinez.

 

“[Celebrities] have a lot more power than [their victims] when it comes to fans and social media,” sophomore Madeline Hinkel said. “[Publicly accusing the perpetrator is dangerous because] it could blow up in the victim’s face and end up worse for them since they could have the possibility of millions of people turning on them.”

 

To counter those in opposition of these victims, the #MeToo campaign is used to support them. This hashtag went viral on social media when Weinstein’s allegations came into light. It was used to denounce sexual harassment and assault with people publicly sharing their stories, encouraging other victims to share as well.

 

“The #MeToo campaign leads me to believe that [sexual assault] happens all the time,” English teacher Jaimie O’Connor said. “Not only that, but other things such as being cat-called, whistled at or talked down to happens all of the time, it has become so normalized.”

 

One notion the public is dealing with is whether or not to support these celebrities. Many of these people have a very influential part in everyday lives.

 

“I’m trying to figure out how to navigate the world right now with this issue,” O’Connor said. “For example, I really want to go see Woody Allen’s movies because I enjoy them and I think they’re well made, but I also don’t want to support a sexual predator. We need to think about where each of us individually or as a society draw the line. If I individually choose to boycott a predator, it probably won’t do much. If a large group of people choose to boycott, that will make a difference.”

 

 

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Sexual Harassment in Hollywood