Sexual harassment accusations snowball after Harvey Weinstein scandal
by Lauren Hugo | copy editor
Since the exposing of Harvey Weinstein, many men and women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault in the workplace.
Weinstein was an American film producer and co-founder of the entertainment company Miramax. Miramax has produced many accomplished films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Chicago,” “Reservoir Dogs” and so on.
Miramax gained popularity and was successful enough to give Weinstein plenty of power over actors wanting to become famous or catch their big break.
Weinstein was first openly accused of sexual harassment by actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd. Following them were 13 accusations, three of which included rape, posted on newyorker.com.
High profile and well-established actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Cara Delevingne and Angelina Jolie also came forward with their own stories about Weinstein.
Since then, the hashtag #MeToo began to trend on Twitter.
#MeToo originated from activist Tarana Burke, who wanted to share her personal story of sexual harassment and assault. Actress Alyssa Milano popularized the tag on Twitter.
After Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, who is also an established actor, was accused of sexually harassing and assaulting men in Hollywood. His first accuser, actor Anthony Rapp, claims Spacey made sexual advances on him when Spacey was 26 and he was only 14 years old.
After more and more claims came out on Spacey, he decided then to come out as gay.
People were appalled by the timing of his reveal, and the response was not particularly friendly.
Spacey was dropped from Netflix’s “House of Cards” show, and Christopher Plummer replaced the actor in Ridley Scott’s “All The Money in The World.”
These allegations spread farther than just Hollywood, as the former Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of molesting a woman when she was 14 years old. Another woman said Moore assaulted her in a car when she was only 16 years old.
As other accusations were brought to light, the scandal grabbed attention from the whole nation as Alabama’s Senate election rolled in. Moore lost to Democratic opponent Doug Jones.
The scandal even brought itself to Kansas. Former Democratic candidate Andrea Ramsey decided to drop out of the race for Congress after a 12-year-old case resurfaced and was used against Ramsey by her opponents.
The lawsuit was brought on by Gary Funkhouser, who alleged he denied Ramsey’s sexual advances and, as revenge, Ramsey had him fired from OneLab Inc. where she worked as Vice President.
Ramsey addressed the rumors and announced dropping her campaign on Facebook.
“Twelve years ago, I eliminated an employee’s position. That man decided to bring a lawsuit against the company (not against me). He named me in the allegations, claiming I fired him because he refused to have sex with me. That is a lie,” Ramsey says. “…It is far more important to me that women are stepping forward to tell their stories and confront their harassers than it is to continue our campaign.”
With all the allegations against celebrities and politicians coming out in recent months, it brings up the question why these stories/incidents were ever swept under the rug in the first place.
Our culture has allowed those in a higher power to have the ability to abuse their authority and hurt others without facing any consequences in return.
The fact many have come out with their own stories about sexual harassment and assault continues to inspire people to stop being silent and expose those who take advantage of the people below them.
If we are going to ever find a solution to the problem, it has to start with a conversation first.