Who Will be Next Media/Entertainment Titan to Fall on The Sexual Harassment Petard?
Ed. note — this was originally published three weeks ago, but given all the news of the past week, it seems more relevant than ever.
At many a media party, it is the latest salon game: predicting who will be the next old(ish) pervert to be outed for years of blatant and unpunished sexual harassment. After all, it’s no secret that the media and entertainment world has been teeming with harassers and harassment (and in some cases sexual assault).
In the past few years, however, there has been increased pressure from a variety places. Social media, in conjunction with a society less tolerant of what the harassers might call boys club “locker room” talk — and women who finally feel a little more empowered to speak the truth — has made this a perilous environment for long time tormentors.
And so it’s also no coincidence that Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Eric Bolling and now Harvey Weinstein have all been ousted in the past few years (even though the types of allegations vary wildly between these men).
In the Weinstein case, many now saying that his behavior was one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood and that could spell trouble for others of a similar ilk. Harassment rumors, for example, have long been swirling about a well-known television news anchor and and least one news executive and many more in the entertainment industry.
If true, they too have been well known but would still require a thorough investigation with resources and fortitude to expose. Media entities like The New York Times taking on, and down, these powerful men deserve enormous credit for their willingness to stand up to legal threats in an effort to silence the alleged victims (except that thus far, almost all of those threatened lawsuits by the various accused have not been filed.)
Harvey Weinstein laughably claimed in his defense “that was the culture then.” Whatever that means, we can all agree that things have changed and that should have other unchastened villains shaking in their boots, or in many of these cases, suits.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.