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Sexual Assault plagues the Hollywood Industry

Image courtesy of BBC.com

Kaylee Rex

Arts And Culture Editor

Movie producer, Harvey Weinstein’s secret sexual assaults that stretched over three decades, according to an investigation by the New York Times, have finally come to the public’s attention. Victims of Weinstein are coming forward in solidarity with their accusations of sexual harassment, assault, and even three counts of rape. Weinstein, best known for producing films such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Good Will Hunting,” is finally facing the consequences of his actions that have been accumulating for nearly 30 years. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has removed him, he has been fired from his own production company, and various Hollywood elites are reprimanding him for his exploitation of so many young women.

The accusations of sexual misconduct come from over two dozen women according to The Guardian. Among the victims are Angelina Jolie, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Kate Beckinsale. Weinstein’s victims were afraid to say no to him or come forward with the accusations since he held the power to make or break their careers. According to the Los Angeles Times, many of his victims felt a sense of responsibility and guilt after Weinstein’s sexual advances. Many regretted not fighting harder when Weinstein forced himself onto them. They feared the potential wrath and public ostracization they knew he was capable of.  

Sexual assault and rape in the Hollywood industry is an issue that is ongoing and often kept suppressed by figures in power positions. Abusers like Weinstein prey on vulnerable men and women that they can manipulate with money and career success, and if they don’t comply, career destruction. The abusers can dissuade others in the industry to hire victims that come forward. They also often have top tier legal teams prepared to fight such accusations.

Sexual exploitation plagues the Hollywood industry, many celebrities having their own anecdotes about sexual assault involving themselves or a colleague. In light of the recent Weinstein scandal, various Hollywood talents came forward with their own stories. James Van Der Beek, best known for his role in the teen drama “Dawson’s Creek,” took to Twitter to talk about his experience with being harassed by older, powerful men that squeezed his butt and made other inappropriate sexual innuendos.

Terry Crews, an actor known for his bulky physique, tweeted about his experience with being sexually harassed by a Hollywood executive. Many of his followers observed that even a strong, 240-pound male like Crews is not safe from sexual assault.

Corey Feldman, well known for his childhood roles in “Stand By Me” and “The Goonies,” was molested and abused during his roles in these films while he was an adolescent. Feldman was exposed to pedophilia and exploitation because he was just a powerless child in the industry. He was unaware that what was being done to him was wrong or out of the ordinary because he didn’t know how the industry worked. According to his memoir, “Coreyography,” his abusers also introduced him to hard drugs at a young age, leading to struggles with addiction throughout the rest of his life.

The sheer volume of Hollywood talent with their own tales of sexual abuse is disheartening. The industry that provides the nation with entertainment and so much culture is covertly plagued with sexual misconduct and exploitation. As public and severe as Harvey Weinstein’s case is, rich and powerful men will continue to use their positions to take advantage of vulnerable men and women. The abusers will continue to manipulate their victims into feeling responsible and too scared to come forward with the truth. It is a vicious cycle that will continue until every abuser is held accountable for their deplorable actions, no matter their status or wealth.