by G. Brown
Add two time Academy Award, Golden Globe and Tony Award winner Kevin Spacey as the latest to the Titanic size list of names going down in the biggest sex scandal ship to ever hit Tinsel town. In the last three plus weeks actors, directors and producers have continuous been outted as sexual predators targeting women, men and children.
The quake that’s shaking the worlds of sexual predators began a month ago with a story in the NY Times in which Ashley Judd and several other actresses told of their harrowing ordeals with the man many called ‘God’–Harvey Weinstein. Once the few initial actresses spoke up, the flood gates opened and more and more women came forward–as many as 60 of them—with tales of how the movie mogul asked for massages and sex sometimes while exposing himself.
Weinstein isn’t the only villain in this story. More than 200 women accuse director James Toback of luring them to hotel rooms with promises of fame and big movie roles.
Not just women are speaking up—actor Terry Crews says movie execs have grabbed his private parts in front of his wife. The Hollywood scandal has grown so big, it’s consuming other mediums and industries. Three women accuse former President of George H.W. Bush of groping them as they posed for pictures. Actors, TV producers, a celebrity chef, journalists have all been snared by their own lusts and the audacity to think their powerful positions granted them privileges to take whatever they wanted from whomever they wanted whenever they wanted.
Because of the accusations, men have been fired, removed from prominent positions and appointments, abandoned by their spouses scorn by their peers and disgraced. But is it enough for a revolution or just content for the next big movie of the week or True Hollywood Story.
The dreamland that prides itself on its liberalism has operated more like a totalitarianism where rich, influential White men yield power and privilege with little discretion, regard or compassion for the needs or wants of others.
This isn’t the first time Hollywood’s dark dealings have been dragged into the bright lights of social and moral consciousness. It was just two years ago that Hollywood was forced to deal with another not so secret scourge–racism. After #Oscarsowhite Twitter campaign shamed Hollywood, the movie industry turned a corner. Films with primarily Black casts like “Fences”, “Moonlight” and “Hidden Figures” were no longer dismissed as inferior works by the powers that be. The Academy added more minorities to bring more diversity to voting on best films and best lead actors. Progress is being made, but a few golden statues and token appointments aren’t the panacea. Hollywood built its reputation on an ideology of fantasy, sex and greed. Uprooting that foundation to pave the way to change is going to require more than a few weeks of pointing fingers and naming names. The last three weeks have been what Malcolm X would call Hollywood’s roosters coming homing to roost, but what has to happen for true lasting change is larger than just the movie industry. Hollywood is a reflection of the world. It’s a microcosm of the macro around it. This isn’t just a Hollywood problem but one that permeates boardrooms, schoolrooms and bedrooms of middle America. How do you fix a problem that pervasive? To start, by doing exactly what Hollywood is doing–name names, point fingers, fire the offenders and their enablers. Audiences stopped enabling Weinstein this weekend at movie theaters. The latest movie from Weinstein’s company, ” Amityville: The Awakening” couldn’t pay people to go see it. The “Amittyville” reboot didn’t even gross one thousand dollars this weekend…earning only $742 total at the box office.
Change is never easy …it will be slow, it will be ugly, it will be uncomfortable, but most importantly, it will take time. It will take as much time to tear down as it took to build up. Hollywood didn’t turn into the behemoth that’s it is today overnight and it won’t be changed overnight either. But it can change.