There’s a tiredness that’s lurking at the corners of my brain that I can’t quite shake off, and it’s the result of the never-ending news cycle. Now, I’m going to talk about the reveals of sexual misconduct that have been permeating the news for the past few weeks, ever since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, and now there’s a torrent of details from both victims and perpetrators. And I’m just…tired of it all. I’m not sure how I feel about it otherwise? I’m grateful for the victims who now feel brave enough to speak out about their trauma, first of all. Real courage exists now, and I do hope that each new victim’s story encourages more and more people to shine the spotlight on these cycles of abuse. And it is a cycle, because what’s happening in Hollywood, where men abuse their power, it’s rampant and it’s systemic. I’m a little shocked that not more people are aware of it. The casting couch exists, the sexual favors for fame culture absolutely exists, and while the public at large has turned a blind eye to it, for the most part, this has been going on since the beginning of the entertainment industry in Hollywood. For fuck’s sake, Hollywood studio system back then made sure that actors were practically owned by their respective studios. Look what happened with Judy Garland, or Shirley Temple, or Marilyn Monroe, or so many other tragic Hollywood stories. Heck, look at the tragedies faced by child actors once they grow up. They don’t call it Hollywood Babylon for nothing, y’know. But for the most part, we the public ignore it, even as actors get taken advantage of every day.
Because that’s just how it is.
But no more.
I hope that with the reveals of all these high-profile men being focused on, that things do change. Believe the victims. Don’t dismiss their accusations. And maybe have a little empathy for your fellow human beings once in a while. I’m tired of hearing internal misogyny from women (mostly older women, in my social circle) who believe that the victims “deserved” what they got because that’s the way Hollywood is and they knew what they were getting into. But…sexual assault doesn’t just happen in Hollywood. It happens wherever someone has more power than someone else and then forces them to do something that they don’t wish to do. It’s in the tech industry. It’s in the gaming industry. It’s in the comics industry. It’s at conventions. It’s everywhere, and it’s rampant because there are no consequences, because perpetrators believe they are above the law, and what they’re doing is their right. No more. Thank goodness there’s a huge media circus for this all. There needs to be. We need to shine a flashlight on the cockroaches and chase them down into the dark corners. We need to find them and root them out and expose them and to send a message that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated anymore.
Bill Corbett, he of MST3K and Rifftrax and one of my favorite humans, made a tweet that referenced I, Claudius, which I thought was super-apt. Claudius was trying to fight corruption as well, but he did so by becoming just as awful as the things that he was trying to expose. One hopes that it doesn’t come to that, but “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out” is still a brilliant line.
— Bill Corbett (@BillCorbett) November 9, 2017