COLUMN: Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault, harassment allegations prove no one is too powerful to be brought down
The Hollywood mogul should be treated as a textbook lesson on how to deal with sexual scandal
I grew up watching Quentin Tarantino films. To this day, “Reservoir Dogs” still remains my favorite and I believe “Pulp Fiction” gets praised a little too heavily as Tarantino’s greatest work.
I’ve seen all of them — even his hot mess of a directorial four-way “Four Rooms.” I could quote you half his filmography and tell you all about the theory of how Tarantino’s films are all interconnected. I also could probably recognize The Weinstein Company’s logo faster than my own astrological sign.
I recognized it immediately on social medial when allegations came out against Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul who has shepherded films like “Clerks,” “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and “Good Will Hunting” to the silver screen.
It’s now being touted as Hollywood’s worst kept secret — the 65-year-old Weinstein being accused of, at the time of this paper’s publication, the rape of three women and sexually assaulting a number of others.
In the days since New York Times broke the story, Weinstein has been fired by his company’s own board of directors, lost millions of dollars in support, had his name dragged through the mud by news stories and actors alike and now his wife is apparently filing for divorce.
This is the best possible outcome someone could hope for in the worst possible situation.
Maybe it’s the optimist in me, but the vitriol Weinstein has been met with shows we are moving toward a better future where we are not afraid to call out and punish sexual assault regardless of the person’s stature.
Your wealth does not absolve your actions.
Your resume does not absolve your actions.
Your powerful friends and connections to high profile lawyers do not absolve your actions.
The Weinstein allegations are messy — it’s a horrible monster birthed several years too late.
I can only imagine the horror stories actresses, and maybe even actors, will come forward with in the coming weeks. I can’t begin to imagine the number of people who will remain silent for fear of being shamed or disavowed by close friends and family.
And while this is outside of the scope of most students at Central Michigan University, I hope they have something to take away from this too: no matter who you are, no matter what your profession is, if you sexually harass or assault another person you will not walk away unscathed.
I’m not naïve — sexual assault and harassment goes unchecked and unanswered for every day. But high-profile proof that our societal expectations and reactions to these allegations show we’re changing as a society.
Maybe one day, we’ll finally learn sexual assault and harassment are never justified.