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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Opinion: Turning a blind eye to harassment

By Madeline Gray

Since this October, more than 70 women have come forward to share their stories of Harvey Weinstein’s pattern of alleged sexual harassment. Weinstein’s might have been the first massive scandal of sexual harassment to be released publicly, but there have been dozens of other men in the media recently with accusations of sexual misconduct. Actors, producers, filmmakers, directors and the majority accused are coming from the entertainment industry.

These men have been abusing their power for decades, yet none of their colleagues cared enough to address the damage that they were doing to these young women and men, who they allegedly assaulted. An article in the New York Times notes that multiple people working for Weinstein knew of his behavior, yet hardly any of the employees did anything to prevent any further harassments of more women. If Weinstein’s colleagues decided to speak up about his behavior with the women he sexually harassed, they might’ve been able to keep him from holding his so-called “business meetings” in his hotel room.

In one of the New York Times articles detailing Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment allegations, it stated that Weinstein made his employees agree to “a code of silence” and they had to sign contracts agreeing that they’d never speak negatively about Weinstein or the company itself. Weinstein allegedly took advantage of his power on multiple occasions to sexually harass his employees, including former employee Emily Nestor, to whom he reportedly said he could give a successful career to, in exchange for agreeing to his requests. Also in the article, it said that some female employees would warn others before their meetings with Weinstein in the hotel rooms. Yet, they made no official reports nor acted to stop his behavior.

Rose McGowan, one of the alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, claimed on her Twitter account that actor Ben Affleck knew of Weinstein’s actions but didn’t speak up.
The stories of these encounters sound a bit like a broken record. Weinstein is reported to use his power and his authority, sexually harassing women and promising to make them famous in exchange. Most of his fellow executives and business partners allegedly knew what was going on behind those hotel room doors, and time after time, his behavior was brushed off.

Unfortunately, this power struggle among male bosses and female employees has been going on for far too long, in far too many workplaces across the nation. There needs to be workplace policies in every industry – especially entertainment – that implement strict rules against sexual misconduct and harassment no matter who the accused is. These male powerhouse authorities shouldn’t ever be able to get away with this behavior. They need to realize the power they hold can’t silence the abuse of it.