By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, it seems he is not the only high-ranking member of Hollywood that has been assaulting women in a regular fashion. Director James Toback has had a wave of assault allegations made against him.
Even Oscar winner Julianne Moore has come forward claiming that Toback had acted unprofessional and sexually aggressive towards her at least twice in the 1980’s. While these allegations against Toback are very unsettling, what is even more unsettling is how frequent these allegations have become.
Not only that, but with each big-time director, actor, or executive that gets a slew of accusations such as this; it seems less and less likely that these assaults aren’t known amongst Hollywood inner circles.
Many readers may remember that in my article on Weinstein I brought up a joke that Seth MacFarlane told about Weinstein being a creep at the Oscars four years ago. The joke was received with some nervous laughs, however laughs none the less. This to me says that Weinstein evidently wasn’t hiding what he was doing.
Hollywood stars are generally very left-wing and of course women’s rights is a hot button issue among the Hollywood elite.
While many actors and actresses claim to stand for the rights of women, I have heard none of them speak about this problem. They are silent and frankly I think it’s absolutely disgusting.
I do not blame the victims for not speaking, however it’s obvious many knew and did nothing about it. So many knew what Weinstein was doing, how horribly he was treating these women and they sat idly and let it happen. They let him make millions in the film industry while simultaneously abusing what may end up being hundreds of women.
This didn’t have to happen and the responsibility, I repeat, does not fall on the shoulders of those assaulted. It falls on the backs of those who knew it was happening and played bystander. I am not suggesting that these bystanders force victims to come forward or out them, I am simply claiming they should have said Weinstein is assaulting women frequently.
Maybe the claims wouldn’t have been believed and maybe nothing would have happened, but at least there would have been a chance that they would have been investigated. There is a chance that maybe one of the women he assaulted felt empowered enough to come forward.
But most importantly, there is a chance that it at least would have been enough for him to stop his reign of terror and save some women the trauma of being survivors. It angers me beyond belief that in a community such as Hollywood stars, who are constantly claiming the moral high ground seem to fall short when actually called upon.
Survivors needed help and so many in Hollywood could’ve helped and they were given the cold shoulder. I realize that this is a touchy subject for so many and by no means is it an easy subject to approach, however SOMETHING could have been done sooner. Anything, literally anything, would have been fine and it just seems to me that Hollywood decided to wait until a survivor got the courage to come forward.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times again until I am heard, Hollywood has a problem and I can almost guarantee you that this won’t change until someone other than these survivors steps up and decides to take a stand, these stories will just keep popping up for years and years to come. Simply put, to Hollywood and the world, we don’t need bystanders, we need upstanders.