The ugly side of Hollywood glamour

The scandal involving Harvey Weinstein has revealed what many women face in show business.

Pauline Woodley, A&E Editor

From red carpet movie premiers to acceptance speeches and statues plated with gold, the entertainment industry can be a place where dreams come true. Sure, Hollywood is beautiful from the outside, but deep down the business is filled with predators using their power over those that are in no position to fight back.

Even after  the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal begins to fade from the spotlight, we as a society need to step back and ask ourselves, “Where do we go from here?”

The first step to approaching the sexual abuse problem in Hollywood would be to hold the abuser accountable. This includes the willingness to listen and believe a victim when he or she chooses to speak out. All too often, the men and women who come forward are scrutinized and blamed for what had happened, especially if they are in the public eye, like most of Weinstein’s alleged victims.

A number of celebrities, including Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney, have publically expressed their disgust with the whole situation, but I can’t help but wonder if they are truly willing to make the changes to the male-driven world they’re apart of.

Well-known filmmaker Quentin Tarantino made an official statement saying that he was aware of Weinstein’s alleged actions as they were occurring and made no notion to further investigate the heinous acts. Here lies the problem: too many times those who witness the abuse are silent.

Fortunately, a significant number of women have found the strength to share their horrid experiences, but there is still more to be done. Over thirty women have come forward about Weinstein alone.

The large number of women who have chosen to speak out is what caused  the large impact on the community. But what if just one woman accused Weinstein? There is an unfair power balance in Hollywood when it comes to male vs. female voices, where the media will only listen to women in numbers.

Actress Alyssa Milano took a step toward progress by launching the campaign #MeToo on Twitter to highlight growing sexual abuse, specifically against vulnerable women.

Sadly, in the environment our society has created, accusations mean nothing in the face of money and prestige. Even video evidence hardly stands in the way of the abuser and their power (see 2016 presidential election).  

We need to use Weinstein’s horrendous acts to shed light on the abusers who continue to be praised in their fields long after the incident is over, specifically those in Hollywood. This can be see in the likes of Woody Allen and Donald Trump, who continue to have supporters after multiple claims of abuse.

I understand it is difficult, as most of these cases come down to “he said, she said” instances, with no real proof of what happened, but society should be able to give alleged victims the space to tell their story without being harmed or their reputation being slandered.  

As the days go on you will see less and less of the name Weinstein being mentioned on your Twitter feed and your news updates, and the issue of sexual assault will fade from the limelight. But hopefully the next time a Woody Allen film crosses your path, you’ll consider  the disturbing allegations leveled against him and not the score on Rotten Tomatoes.