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Rape Culture in Hollywood

Kristina Dawkins, Staff Writer

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Sexual assault in show business is nothing new. It has been heavily present within the movie industry since the very start. Though with such relevance and occurrence, one can only wonder why so few stories and public articles about such crimes have been released. Many women know this all too well.

It is an open fact that the movie industry is male-dominated, from the creators to the actors.  Hollywood filmmakers continually take advantage of both their power and influence. Too many women throughout Hollywood, young and old, have their own horrifying and disturbing accounts of assault. It’s awful to know that so many have gone through such events, yet people seem to know so little about the amount of horrible acts that happen to women each day. The men always seem to sit higher than the women; knowing that their victims’ voices will be taken as nothing but noise.

This month, a historic scandal has been dropped; and the world isn’t surprised about its revelations. Harvey Weinstein has been publicly accused of sexual harassment. On October 5th, The New York Times published an article written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twoheyoct, revealing stories and reports of sexual assault carried out by Weinstein. Claiming the accusations are false, Weinstein and his legal team have threatened to sue the Times over their reports “saturated with false and defamatory statements” about Harvey Weinstein. Yet, over 30 women have come out with similar accounts of abuse.

Rose McGowan, an American actress, director, producer, and singer, has her own frightening memories of Harvey Weinstein. In 1997, a $100,000 settlement was reached to “buy peace” between the parties. 20 years later, McGowan made the decision to break her silence. In a string of tweets on October 12, she tags Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explaining,  “I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.” She goes on to urge Bezos to “stop funding rapists.” This is only one of many stories from women all across Hollywood, who are coming out to share their voices.

The importance of having these conversations is vital to let women and girls around the world feel comfortable sharing their stories. 10th grader Michelle Skinner believes that this issue needs to be adressed socially, rather than politically. The focus needs to be the victims, as Skinnner  expresses that “it is something that has many more negative effects than people think.” Statistics show that one in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, along with one in six women that will experience attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. This is reality. We can’t continue to run away from what is constantly happening around us each and every day. Being silent is being complicit.

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