‘Weinstein Effect’ goes global as powerful men confronted
THE sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein that rocked Hollywood and sparked a flurry of allegations in other American industries, as well as the political arena, are reaching far beyond US borders. Emboldened by the women, and men, who have spoken up, the “Weinstein Effect” is rippling across the globe.
Nearly half of the “#metoo” mentions since the movement has been launched have come from outside the US, and decades-old accusations have led to the downfall of some of those countries’ most powerful men. Here’s a look at where the fallout — and the falls — have reverberated most strongly, from the United Kingdom and Israel to India and Peru. UNITED KINGDOM In the immediate aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, the British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May has been rocked by a series of harassment allegations that have led to one high-level resignation — that of Defense Secretary Michael Fallon— and threatened the position of First Secretary of State Damian Green, a vital ally of the prime minister.
ISRAEL The floodgates opened in Israel earlier this month when, during a TV panel discussion about the harassment in Hollywood, Channel 10 journalist Oshrat Kotler revealed that Israeli media mogul and International Olympic Committee member Alex Gilady had made an “indecent” proposal to her during a job interview 25 years ago. Haaretz columnist Neri Livneh then added that Gilady exposed himself to her during a 1999 business meeting at his home. Two other women later came forward saying Gilady had raped them.
INDIA In India, there have yet to be dramatic repercussions.
Vrinda Grover, a New Delhi lawyer and women’s rights activist, said powerful men for centuries have assumed sexual entitlement and that is going to take years to change. She said there has been increased conversation about the problem in recent years but that sexual harassment continues and authorities, including the police, often deliberately impede sexual assault investigations.
ITALY In Italy, the Weinstein scandal has been front-page news ever since it broke because Italian actress Asia Argento was one of the main, named accusers in an expose by The New Yorker.
The scandal has taken on new life with accusations by 10 women that an Italian television and film director, Fausto Brizzi, molested them. An investigative TV show reported initial accusations without naming the director last month, but in a follow-up report Sunday named Brizzi. He has strenuously denied having non-consensual sex. FRANCE French women are denouncing alleged abusers with unprecedented openness, on social networks and in police stations around the country, where reports of rape, harassment and other abuse are on the rise. An online campaign under the hashtag #balancetonporc (“squeal on your pig”) kicked off in French even before the “#metoo” campaign began and went viral globally.
But no powerful figures in France have lost their jobs or reputations and there’s been no nationwide clamour for heads to roll. French critics have warned against an American-style backlash that could demonise romance and catch innocent men in the net. – AP