By Alison Tobin ‘18
In recent news, the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal has blown up in many ways. Multiple women are speaking up and accusing other stars of different degrees of sexual assault or misconduct. Many other men in the Hollywood industry are under fire for not speaking out about the occurrences of assault that they knew about even if they did not commit them. Obviously, this situation starting with the Weinstein allegations is no light issue and there are many ways that we can learn from it.
This is undoubtedly a huge crisis for Hollywood and is even leading to the cancellation of television programs. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated in any industry, let alone in Hollywood, but it continues to happen and, until now, it remained under the radar for a lot of people. We know it is happening but might not have known just how bad it was before this scandal exploded. It became part of our culture but we need to change that.
If Hollywood does not support these actions, they should not have these actions in their movies and shows. They have made statements by firing certain people involved and ending shows like House of Cards, but more can be done. Removing the sexist attitudes and actions from movies and shows changes what everyone sees and can change their future actions, maybe even preventing sexual assault.
It is time for Hollywood to wake up and change the world’s perception of sexual assaults and women. Some of the most powerful influencers are seen on the big screen and it could be really impactful if they changed what they are showing people.
People also need to know that it is good to speak out about sexual assault and know that they are not alone. Women and men in Hollywood can’t be scared to speak out about powerful people who have committed these acts because that just gives them more power. It cannot be ignored. Their public actions are what society learns from as well.