Sexual misconduct takes focus in Hollywood


Bethany Wade, Photography Editor

Sexual misconduct in Hollywood is not a new topic, but over the past month, numerous men have been accused of sexual harassment.

The New York Times published a piece detailing several reports of sexual harassment at the hands of Harvey Weinstein on Oct. 5. Shortly after, Weinstein was fired from his production company, The Weinstein Company, and expelled from the Academy. As of the time this article was published, over 40 women have come out with their own stories of being sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein. The New York attorney general launched a civil rights investigation against The Weinstein Company due to these claims.

In the wake of this scandal, many women both inside and outside of the entertainment industry are coming forward with their own stories of harassment and sexual assault. The general public told their stories through the hashtag #MeToo, revealing their personal stories of people in their lives who took advantage of them. The hashtag inspired other female figures of power including actresses, journalists, senators and executives to share the times they’ve been sexually harassed in their jobs.

Other figures of power in Hollywood have been accused of sexual harassment and assault since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke. Amazon Studios top executive Roy Price resigned from the company after being accused of sexual harassment by a producer on the show “Man in the High Castle”. Nearly 40 women accused director James Toback of sexual harassment. Two former male child stars claimed agent Tyler Grasham sexually assaulted them. Grasham was put on a leave of absence at agency APA while an investigation is conducted. A scandal against Kevin Spacey caused Netflix to suspend production indefinitely on “House of Cards.”

Many raised the question of why this is the first time people are taking sexual assault claims so seriously, as many other people in Hollywood have been accused in the past but nothing was done. Casey Affleck won the Oscar for Best Actor this year despite being sued by two women back in 2010 for sexual harassment claims. Bill O’Reilly renewed his contract with Fox News a month after he settled a $32 million dollar sexual harassment lawsuit. Woody Allen’s newest project involves sexual conduct between an underaged girl and an adult, something he himself has been accused of.

George Clooney called out Woody Allen on his comments about a “witch hunt” against men that was started because of these allegations. John Oliver asked why the Academy expelled Weinstein but allows Bill Cosby, Casey Affleck and Roman Polanski to remain members.

These accusations opened the conversation on sexual misconduct in Hollywood. Actress Blake Lively said in an interview with Good Morning America that sexual harassment is nothing new in Hollywood, but it’s good that this conversation is happening. One of the co-authors of the original New York Times article, Megan Twohey, said in an interview that this story would continue for weeks due to the rapidness of sexual misconduct in Hollywood over the years.

More allegations are coming out each day against different people in Hollywood and it’s hard to see an ending to this story anytime soon.

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Twitter: @BethanyWadeTWW