Sexual abusers should not have a legacy
Woody Allen has won three Oscars, 10 British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards and two Golden Globe Awards. Casey Affleck has won one Oscar and one Golden Globe. Kevin Spacey has won two Oscars and one Golden Globe. Harvey Weinstein is an American film producer and film studio executive with numerous top-ranking films in the industry and a net worth of $300 million, according to Everyday Money.
These men are in some of the top ranks of the entertainment industry. None of them have a net worth of less than $10 million, and all of them have been accused of sexual assault. Their legacy still lives on.
Allen was accused by his ex-girlfriend of sexually abusing his 7-year-old adopted daughter; Affleck has been accused of violently grabbing and using lewd comments towards multiple women; Spacey has been accused of forcing himself on a 14-year-old.
Eight House of Cards employees have also stepped forward accusing Spacey of creating a toxic environment at work, according to The Guardian. The Allen allegations have all been handled in court with unknown settlements and no penalties to their careers.
Spacey apologized to the world for his misdeeds by coming out as gay. Weinstein has been accused of sexual assault by 86 actresses in the last month, with the alleged offenses stretching back over decades, according to Vox.
All of the cases listed are all cases that took many years for the victims to speak out against because of the power dynamic that Hollywood producers have over the little guy. Disregarding the allegations solely in Hollywood, sexual violence and assault is present in everyday life. According to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
Out of all of these men, only two of them have had consequences for their actions. Netflix has suspended filming of one of their biggest shows, House of Cards, which Spacey starred in. The Weinstein Company has fired Harvey Weinstein after the allegations went public.
The list could go on. Hollywood is filled with those in power taking advantage of those below them. The influence that the top-ranking producers and actors have is indescribable.
The issue at hand is that — even with these pressing allegations — these men are still going to have a place in Hollywood and in the hearts and minds of millions of people. These charges do not stop the fact that people still have access to watch House of Cards, Manchester by the Sea, Annie Hall and the 329 movies produced by Weinstein.
These men are still glorified for the work they have done. The fact that their films will still be major components in our culture proves that a person with sexual assault charges can still maintain their power and influence.
This does not relay the proper message to the world. How is the country supposed to grow and fight against sexual predators when their work is still presented as art?
By stopping movie theaters, streaming services and schools from using films and TV shows with those accused of sexual assault, the message can be relayed that unwanted sexual advances and assault do not create or earn power.
Those who disagree with this idea present the issue that their work should be separate from them as people. According to some, their work should still be accepted for its talent because the role that they are portraying is not who they are in real life.
Once we stop presenting the idea that economic and political power make it acceptable for sexual assault to occur, then the safer the world can become.