Opinions

Stars falling from grace

Since the defamation of American movie producer Harvey Weinstein in early October, many other Hollywood moguls are under fire for sexual misconduct.
As stories and accusations unravel against many well-known stars, one of the biggest scandals is the fall of Netflix’s House of Cards lead, Kevin Spacey.
Spacey was first accused by Broadway and TV actor Anthony Rapp for an incident that allegedly happened when Rapp was only 14 back in the 80s.
Rapp now lives as an openly gay man, and after these allegations were made public, so does Spacey.
Spacey’s apology to Rapp was made via Twitter, where Spacey claims he does not remember the incident, said to have occurred at his New York apartment, but said he is sorry if the events played out as Rapp describes.
Spacey went on to say he was intoxicated if and when the events occurred, and also included the fact that he now chooses to live as an openly gay man.
While his response came in the timely matter to the accusation, his use of the classic excuse of being drunk left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
“It was his statement that has led to his villainy in the public,” said Graydon Beach, someone who only recently came out as gay himself.
“I think it was a great way to deflect, too bad it came at the hands of perverting the gay community further.”
While due process is important in any allegation, it’s hard to believe this was a one-time occurrence.
Evidently, it was not, as many male House of Cards crew members have now come forward as being victims of Spacey’s “predatory” on-set behaviour, leading to the cancellation of the series.
Director Ridley Scott also decided to completely cut Spacey out of the already finished movie All the Money in the World, by recasting his role and re-filming scenes in time for the scheduled December release date.
The #MeToo campaign took over Twitter in the month of October as well, with both men and women coming forward with their personal experience with sexual assault and misconduct.
Millions have since posted using the hashtag, creating a viral conversation both inside and outside Hollywood.
The fact that all these brave men and women have the courage to come forward now, regardless of when their attacks happened, should be applauded and open everyone’s eyes to how prevalent of a problem sexual assault, rape and misconduct truly are in our society.
“I think specific industries, especially Hollywood, thrive off of shady under dealings and exploitation,” said Beach.
The positions of power Weinstein held over many of his victims is a reoccurring reason why many of his accusers say it took so long for them to come forward.
Spacey was 26 to Rapp’s 14 at the time of the incident Rapp reported to Buzzfeed earlier this month.
While he may have been frustrated due to the fact that he was a closeted gay man and acted out while intoxicated, it does not excuse the fact that he made advances on a child.
21-year-old Mikenna Ritchie says she also understands what it’s like to be intimidated by someone’s public reputation when making an accusation about sexual misconduct.
“I was raped when I was 19,” said Ritchie, who said she was drugged and taken advantage of by an unnamed professional athlete.
Ritchie said she never reported the incident because she was in denial.
“I thought it must have been my fault.”
It takes many weeks, months, or years for victims to come forward. It is no one’s place to judge how long it takes someone to come to terms with what happened to them.
It’s better to take such accusations seriously and have them turn out to be untrue than to further perpetuate a culture that covers such incidents up or blames the victims.

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