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Harvey Weinstein’s History of Sexual Harassment and Why It Matters

Unless you haven’t been paying attention to the news the past two weeks, you have probably heard that Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood big shot and producer of multiple Oscar-winning movies, has been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment, spanning back decades, pretty much his entire career. It’s not a shock that a big shot Hollywood guy was taking advantage of his power. But this is big. It dares to throw the entire industry off it’s track of abuse and mistreatment. Before we get into this more, let’s break down the situation.

You probably know his name but not much else about him. Weinstein is basically the money behind some real Hollywood stunners like Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting. His last name is in the credits of some of the biggest movies because of his company, the Weinstein Company (which he was fired from because of the allegations against him). Also his wife, Georgina Chapman, is leaving him.

Courtesy: Business Insider

On October 5th,the New York Times published this article detailing specific allegations against Weinstein by actresses and women who worked in his company. They all have a kind of similar story. A hotel room. An offer of power, fame, a promotion for sexual favors. It’s haunting, systematic and premeditated. He settled with eight women who accused him of sexual harassment in the past three decades. Of course, Weinstein denies many of the accusations.

Since the publishing of the article, many other celebrities such as Cara Delevigne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rose McGowan and Angelina Jolie have come forth with their own stories of unwanted sexual advances by Weinstein. Many celebrities have also condemned Weinstein for his actions, including the Obamas and Meryl Streep. It’s been said that many news outlets knew about the accusations of sexual assault and harassment against Weinstein but didn’t report on it, largely due to the fear of a lawsuit. They were scared of his power.

Courtesy: The Independent 

And that’s the biggest part of this entire situation. Men in Hollywood take advantage of those less powerful than them. It’s been the truth since the film and movie industry began. While it’s predominately women who face this manipulation and mistreatment, some of the men experience it as well. On October 10th, Terry Crews shared a series of tweets explaining a sexual assault with a Hollywood executive he experienced a year ago. These Hollywood executives have a history of taking advantage of people. It’s a cycle.

But more and more, this type of behavior is being called out and the predators are getting what’s coming to them. Well not all of them; Bill Cosby was accused by over 50 women and a jury still couldn’t find him guilty. But he has become a pariah to the public and to the entertainment industry. The industry is starting to refuse to tolerate this behavior and women are finally getting the courage to speak up.

It’s about time the industry changed. This is good news for any woman hoping to go into entertainment. It shows the promise that one day we won’t read about pigs like this in the news or have to deal with them in the workplace. The industry is changing. And it’s time to speak up. 

Advertising major from Jacksonville, Florida who never grew out of her Jonas Brothers phase
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