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Exclaim! - - SCREENSHOTS - BY JOSIAH HUGHES

HUR­RI­CANE HAR­VEY

Prior to Oc­to­ber, Har­vey We­in­stein’s pub­lic per­sona was of a pow­er­house pro­ducer with a no­to­ri­ous tem­per. Then, his dark se­cret ex­ploded like an atomic bomb — the New York Times and The New Yorker pub­lished re­ports that de­tailed dozens of al­le­ga­tions that the pro­ducer had sex­u­ally ha­rassed, as­saulted and raped nu­mer­ous women through­out his ca­reer.

From there, the flood­gates opened, and many sug­gested that We­in­stein’s se­cret hadn’t been so se­cret af­ter all. From in­terns and pro­duc­tion as­sis­tants to A-list ac­tors like Gwyneth Pal­trow and An­gelina Jolie, a truly count­less num­ber of women came for­ward with their sto­ries of how We­in­stein had used his power to take ad­van­tage of them.

As a re­sult of the enor­mous batch of al­le­ga­tions, We­in­stein was fired from the We­in­stein Com­pany. His pub­lic state­ments al­ter­nated be- tween apolo­gies and care­fully crafted legalese that de­nied any wrong­do­ing. In an ef­fort to dis­tance him­self from his brother, Bob We­in­stein said he knew noth­ing about the al­le­ga­tions in their decades of work­ing to­gether. From there, The Mist showrun­ner Amanda Segel al­leged that Bob We­in­stein had made in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual com­ments to her while they worked to­gether.

If one can de­scribe any as­pect of this hor­rific story as a sil­ver lin­ing, it would be that more and more vic­tims of sex­ual mis­con­duct felt em­pow­ered to speak out. Ac­tors like Terry Crews and Rob Sch­nei­der came for­ward with their own sto­ries of sex­ual ha­rass­ment from di­rec­tors, while ac­tress Heather Lind al­leged that for­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush groped her dur­ing a photo op. Across so­cial me­dia, the #MeToo cam­paign thrived as peo­ple shed their fears and opened up about the hor­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ences they had suf­fered in Hol­ly­wood and be­yond.

The rip­ple ef­fect trav­eled through the mu­sic in­dus­try too, as al­le­ga­tions emerged re­gard­ing mis­con­duct from for­mer Real Es­tate mem­ber Matt Mon­danile, for­mer Brain­feeder elec­tronic pro­ducer the Gaslamp Killer, and for­mer Cap­tured Tracks record­ing artist Alex Calder. Fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions that he raped his for­mer girl­friend Jes­sicka Ad­dams, Mar­i­lyn Man­son bassist Twiggy Ramirez was fired from the band.

The sheer num­ber of al­le­ga­tions sug­gest what most al­ready knew and some were un­will­ing to ad­mit — de­spite a rise in per­for­ma­tive “wo­ke­ness,” there is still an un­ac­cept­able amount of misog­yny in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try. And while re­sponses to the sto­ries and the brave peo­ple who told them were mixed, it still felt like a cul­tural shift. Peo­ple are no longer go­ing to keep dark se­crets for pow­er­ful men, and their brav­ery will lead to real change.

AN­GELINA JOLIE

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