In regards to recent events in the news, concerning cases of sexual assault in the entertainment industry, it's time that we start recognizing that this has been a problem for decades and is nothing new. In the past few weeks, you may have become familiar with the names Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey being accused of sexual assault. Each of them have multiple cases against them, where men and women are coming out as being abused and harassed by them as well as other men with dominant positions in the film and entertainment industry.
The Weinstein Company has had its hand in some of our favorite films, from The Butler to Silver Linings Playbook. Kevin Spacey has been the star of the now no longer running Netflix Original, House of Cards. Caught up in a power trip where they felt entitled to the bodies of others, their careers are now headed in a downhill spiral - and rightfully so.
It's important to realize that the several cases and instances that have been brought up against them occurred more than 10 years ago. For years, the rape culture in society has made victims of sexual assault and rape want to remain silent out of fear. It's sad to say, but being victim of sexual assault by someone in a position of power can have a detrimental impact on your career. There's a stigma in the entertainment industry, especially in previous years, that sleeping your way to fame is the norm. As a result, directors and actors began to feel entitled to the bodies of others.
Tippi Hedren, most notably known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, has in the past year and a half, started speaking out about the sexual harassment she endured from Hitchcock. Experiencing any sort of sexual assault or harassment can be detrimental to a person's mental stability. Because Hedren resisted Hitchcock advances, he made her experience on set a living nightmare. Hedren decided to publicize the events of her sexual assault because she knows first hand that this is a problem within the industry and believes that victims shouldn't feel ashamed to say no.
Rape culture has conditioned victims to be afraid to speak out against sexual assault out of the fear of the repercussions that may follow shortly after. I am, however, pleased to see that the industry is beginning to fight back by forcing the suspects to be held accountable for the assault and emotional abuse that they cause their victims.
What's happened recently isn't a new issue, these are accusations that are rising up from decades back. Victims of sexual assault within the entertainment industry are starting to find comfort and solace in having their voices heard, and people are listening to them instead of assuming that they are just trying to tear down the career of prominent leaders in the industry.
The actions being taken, such as the canceling of any further House of Cards seasons, or the slow downfall of The Weinstein Company, are catalysts in change. This is stating that any sort of behavior of sexual assault or harassment will no longer be tolerated by the industry.