Decapitating the hydra-headed beast of sexual exploitation in show biz
The list of Hollywood stars who have been unmasked as sexual predators has been lengthening by “kangaroo” leaps and bounds.
After Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Rose, Nick Carter, Mario Batali, John Besh, Gary Goddard and Donald Trump, the “guilty gallery” now includes Richard Dreyfuss, Louis C.K., John Lasseter, Jeremy Piven, Brett Ratner, Jeffrey Tambor, James Toback, Robert Knepper and Tom Sizemore!
Even more depressingly, the latest yucky additions to the downward-spiral tailspin include morning show icon Matt Lauer and acting great Dustin Hoffman! Are nothing and no one scared?
Fact is, if we factor in the political VIPs who’ve also been charged with sexual misconduct by millions of “Me Too” accusers, it looks like that is the shocking lay of the land:
Top politicos who have been cited and chided are paced by no less than former President George H.W. Bush—who, in his dotage, has been accused by seven women of patting them below the waist while posing for photos with them!
Through his spokesperson, Bush has apologized “to anyone he has offended.”
But, his defenders insist that what happened was not intended: Since he sits in a wheelchair, Bush is positioned lower than the (standing) people who are posing with him, so …
In any case, the “all fall down” or “domino-effect” mass debacle and decline affecting the public sphere in the United States and England this season has exposed the exploitative core that has done its corrosive worst for many decades now.
Since the faces and names of many predators have finally been exposed by their victims, this is the right time to decapitate the hydra-headed beast of sexual exploitation by the rich, powerful and connected.
So, industry leaders are being urged or even forced to improve much more stringent sanctions that will be “painful” and “career-ending” enough to convince other power brokers and potential exploiters in the biz that sexual persuasion or coercion is not the way to go!
The viewing public—that’s us—can do a lot in this regard. If we collectively boycott new productions involving exposed and disgraced artists, decision-makers will stop hiring them, and they and their nefarious schemes and sins will wither on the vine.
The danger, of course, is that some of the accusations will be undeserved. So, a mechanism has to be put in place to give the accused their day in court, to prove their innocence.
In most instances, however, indications have it that, when 10 or more women or men dare to step out of the shadows to complain and protest, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
For this reason, many of the accused have swiftly admitted their culpability, and their employers have just as peremptorily fired them, summarily preventing them from continuing to do their worst!
Let’s all hope and pray that this serial exposure and comeuppance will redound to a much less predatory and exploitative entertainment industry in 2018—and beyond.