Sunday, December 17, 2017
We got to tell both sides of the story in sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
In the recent months, the showbiz industry of Hollywood and beyond has been rocked by a number of sexual harassment or misconduct allegations, against many A-listing men.
About a month later, another Hollywood A-lister faced the same fate. Kevin Spacey came under fire for sexual misconduct against a then 14-year-old young actor, Anthony Rapp.
Since then, more than 30 people have come forward with their own allegations against Spacey, with accounts ranging from harassment to attempted rape. As result, Spacey has been fired by Netflix and the hit TV series "House of Cards". His agent and publicist have also backed away from him.
The list is continuously growing, with Richard Dreyfuss, Dustin Hoffman and Oliver Stone also being accused of similar misconduct among many others.
While the public is shocked to watch the fall of many of its favorite stars, let's step back one minute to evaluate the situation. Hollywood is not your average workplace or industry.
It has always been focusing on sexuality, physical attractiveness and the sex appeal of its stars. Most of them are battling alcoholism, drug addictions and numerous mental disorders. Add all the above to the toxic mix of power and fame hungry young men and women and you've got it; a recipe for indecency.
Not that there is any excuse for any of the above stars' actions, but we've got to realize that these people have an ultra-inflated ego, since thousands of young women and men are striving for their attention all the time.
It is sadly a human condition that exists everywhere, yet in a place with so many spoiled for choice individuals, the situation was always out of control. It is doubtful that it is anything new, or the industry was not aware of it- if not tolerated it.
Power and control issues exist in all industries and workplaces, but in those professions were beauty and sexuality play a huge part in becoming successful or not, it is almost a curse.
Yet, while it is easy to point the finger towards these men and be disgusted by their actions, if we have to be totally fair, we need to examine the whole picture.
In a recent interview, Swedish actress Noomi Rapace stated in Swedish daily news agent SVT Nyheter about the Weinstein case, that "a lot of women have played the game and climbed the ladder."
"They've stepped in, been part of the game and used it to their advantage", she described. And in reality, that is the case. Some women refused the advancements and lost out or seen their careers downgraded, but others have "played the game" as she says, pushing their career forward.
We've got to realize that they are also part of this problem as they gave power to these men. If we want to be fair, we should be hearing about their cases too. Which of our favorite female or male stars, are where they are now because they gave these men (or women perhaps) what they wanted; sexually or not.
And by doing so, they assisted the perpetuation or exaggeration of the issue. These men continued doing what they were doing, because firstly they were tolerated by the industry, getting away with it and in addition, they were having what they wanted by a number of young and aspiring stars and starlets who consented.
If you seek the attention of an older, famous individual to boost your career, make sure you don't give the wrong impressions about you. Keep it professional and if things get out of hand, report the incident. If you don't, then you become part of the problem and you are spoiling it for many others who chose not to give in.
It is not totally unimaginable that in such industry and many others, sexual favors, nepotism or strong connections are often needed to get you to places. That is how it has always been. Not that it is right or that it has to remain as such and hopefully, this will offer an opportunity to eliminate such attitudes in this and every industry, with the appropriate legislation.
I have also lost a job once, to a woman which gave in to the advances of a manager of a hotel I used to work as a barman. I am not sure of which one seduced the other first, as the chemistry between them was intense, obvious and reciprocating.
But the result was me always being sidelined, that resulted in my resignation after 3 months in the job. I imagine something similar exists in Hollywood too, but much more exaggerated.
If we want to put a stop to such phenomena, we should first of all start being nice to our colleagues or the professionals that we have to work with. Keep it safe and professional. We should not be afraid to speak out, be ashamed or feel guilty.
Sex and sexuality are in our nature and should be celebrated and enjoyed. But they should never become a currency that out careers and their progression should depend on.