It often seems as though being a celebrity makes you “untouchable”. People who are in positions of power often like to use their status as a weapon. They threaten their victim’s success and usually end up getting their way whether it’s consensual or not.
Woody Allen has been accused of pedophilia since 1992 (25 years) and has been involved in the creation of 32 projects in the film industry since. Bill Cosby has been accused of rape, drug-facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, and child sexual abuse since the early 60’s, and still, awaits the verdict from his trial. R. Kelly was charged with statutory rape and child pornography in 2002, with actual video proof of him engaging in sexual relations with an underage girl, and was somehow found not guilty. In 2009, Chris Brown viciously physically attacked his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, and has come out with 4 albums since.
Now, we have Harvey Weinstein, who is being outed for sexually assaulting and threatening the careers of multiple actors and actresses in the industry. The whole world knows about what despicable things he’s done. He has allegedly been fired from his job as a top film producer, and his wife is divorcing him.
The worst thing with all these men previously mentioned, besides their crimes, is that they’ve all somehow managed to get away with it. What usually happens when a normal, mundane middle-aged man is found with possession of child pornography? Or when some guy serial-rapes 20+ women? Prison. Sometimes even capital punishment. Our entire society turns on them. They are considered the scum of the earth.
But when Woody Allen does it, he ends up with an Academy-Award winning movie grossing over $40 million worldwide. Ignition, R. Kelly’s top hit song, is still heard on the radio daily, even though he raped a 17-year-old girl on camera and urinated on her. Chris Brown beats up his girlfriend and wins a Grammy.
Even the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, has been proven of sexual assault and abuse of many women. But he’s a rich, white, socialite, man so we can let him be president of one of the world’s most powerful countries!
Although we always seem to forget, men aren’t the only ones who commit criminal acts and get pardoned. In this current season of the ever-popular television anthology series American Horror Story, popular actresses Emma Roberts (niece of Julia Roberts) and Lena Dunham both have brief roles. But did we forget that Roberts physically assaulted her boyfriend (and American Horror Story actor), Evan Peters? And didn’t Dunham sexually assault her younger sister many times and even write about it in her recently published book?
Our daily entertainment is built off of criminals. We pardon them because they said “sorry” and happen to be our favorite artist, or produce our favorite movies. But why? Why do we, as human beings, find that okay? Why didn’t Chris Brown’s record label drop him? Why do actors and crew still want to work on films with Woody Allen?
How can you say that Woody Allen is your favorite filmmaker while knowing that he’s an awful pedophile? How can you re-watch the Cosby Show and not feel disgusted every time Bill Cosby pops up on the screen? How can you not mentally see the scarring photo of Rihanna after Chris Brown pummeled her everytime you hear his voice on the radio?
It shouldn’t matter who the person is. Because justice is not served until they are convicted, or labeled as a pedophile or rapist. Harvey Weinstein should go to jail. Just like Ted Bundy did, or Jeffrey Dahmer. Just like every single person in the world who commits a crime and breaks the law.
It is a colossal, throbbing slap in the face for every abuse victim there is to sit at home and watch Entertainment Tonight or TMZ talk about a man who has sexually abused multiple people, and that still has his huge, successful career. It would be daunting and horrific to watch your abuser live his life normally, let alone win a Grammy or an Oscar.
We shouldn’t show any more remorse to these people than we would to anyone else. Pedophilia is a crime. Rape is a crime. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse are all crimes. And until we deal with people like Harvey Weinstein as we do with criminals, we are allowing other celebrities in positions of power to feel like it’s acceptable to abuse people.