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Harvey Weinstein Scandal Topples Hollywood’s House of Cards

Sarah Faber, Social Media Manager

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Aside from red lipstick and hair gel, the Hollywood of the 40s, 50s, and 60s was defined by the casting couch. This phrase refers to the common practice of casting directors or producers exchanging roles for sex.

Unfortunately, this practice still exists today.

Recently, dozens of women have come forward with allegations against famed movie producer Harvey Weinstein. According to the accounts, Weinstein has been summoning actresses to his hotel rooms where they find him naked- demanding a massage, offering actresses roles in his movies only if they have sex with him, and using his power as a multi-oscar winning producer to assault women in heinous ways for decades.

Many are outraged and stunned that Weinstein was able to get away with his behavior and enjoy a successful career. However, now that Weinstein’s behavior is public knowledge, he is facing repercussions. The Producers Guild unanimously expelled him from the prestigious society. He’s been condemned by the vast majority of the film industry- a “prominent male Hollywood producer” told The New York Times, “If people could rip him apart, they would. Literally everyone in Hollywood is taking marshmallows to roast at his burning corpse.”

The shocking part of Weinstein’s case isn’t that he turned out to be a sexual predator, but that he evaded scrutiny for so long. If Weinstein could have a successful career after harassing dozens of women, we must ask: how many other famous men out there have done the same? How long will it take for them to be revealed?

Earlier this year, after Casey Affleck was accused by two women of sexual assault, he went on to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. After Johnny Depp was publicly sued by his ex-wife, Amber Heard, for domestic violence, he scored parts in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well as in the upcoming Murder On the Orient Express. Donald Trump admitted to grabbing women by their genitals in a tape from Access Hollywood, yet he was elected president of the United States.

The contrast between the way Weinstein was treated by the media (including social media) and the way Affleck, Trump, and Depp were treated by the media begs the question: how grotesque does assault have to be for the masses to shun the abuser?

Whether a male celebrity assaults dozens of young starlets or just one, rape is rape. Anyone who uses their position of power to inflict harm and threaten those below them on the social ladder deserves to be as ostracized and reviled as Harvey Weinstein is.

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