We are in the midsts of a historical year for the entertainment industry – there is no denying that. Victims, both women and men, suppressed by the lingering aura of those in power, are starting to feel comfortable speaking out and sharing their trauma.
Before I get into the meat of this post I have to give a shout out to these brave women and men. It’s easy for us on the outside to judge and critique public figures. You’ll often find in comment sections – “Why’d it take so long for you to speak up?”
We heard rumors about Louis C.K.’s harassment toward women. I remember how dismissive counter-articles were to these claims. These were victims being shut down by their establishment and by us, the audience who didn’t want it to be true.
When several victims stepped forward against Bill Cosby, there were even more deniers and apologists. How can the man who inspired my childhood do this? Well, there’s no clear answer to that. Except maybe this: you didn’t know them.
Whether it’s The Cosby Show or Louie, you will always have those laughs and inspirations you acquired from your original viewing. But that’s in the past, time only moves forward and I can gurantee you’ll find laughs and inspirations from the next generation of entertainers.
It’s great to see Harvey Weinstein, and all the other recently outed public figures, not being met with as much skepticism as Cosby was. Sociologically we are growing, we are developing more and more a zero tolerance policy for these crimes.
Before I continue I must add that I do not have all the data to back up my assertions. I, like you, am just someone on the outside riddled with confusing emotions. Trying to figure out why and what we can do to help.
My belief is Newton’s Third Law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – and that original action was Donald Trump.
Our abrasive and brash president has also had several sexual harassment claims lingering over him for some time. In a country of mass wealth inequality, as time goes on, it’s become general knowledge that those in power aren’t held to the same standards as the rest of us – in a way it’s an ongoing joke.
Laws don’t normally apply to someone like Harvey Weinstein. He can afford private investigators to watch his victims, he can afford the best lawyers, the best accountants, and make the best investments.
A line that stood out to me in Donald Glover’s “Atlanta”: “Poor people don’t make investments.”
The greatest thing about these allegations surfacing is that it is finally the truth to power that average Americans have been craving. The untouchables brought down; the victims no longer having to hide.
We are a long ways away from equality. Racism and sexism still run rampant in our society. Politicians pay lip service to this, but never move to address rights with women’s health or the prison industrial complex on either side. They know the platitudes, but not the solutions.
Politicians and celebrities love our complacency and conservatism – it means they don’t have to change or make an effort.
In the end it’s not our job as citizens to be apologists for these powerful figures, it is our job to be critical. They can hire the best PR people in the world, they don’t need us doing PR for them.
Let’s be the change in our society. Let’s be critical. No more tolerance for sexual harassment of any kind in our society from anyone of any status. And, as a young white man, I will be more reflective and critical of my own words and actions, and you should too.
For those in power – do better. Sacrificing privacy and keeing your power in check is a small price to pay for your billion dollar net income. Be reflective, be better.