When Hollywood is mentioned, we often think of the glitz and glamour that are attached to its image. People often assume that Hollywood is one of the greatest places in the world since it is home to the film and television scene. Growing up, I always wanted to visit Hollywood because it seemed like such a great place where nothing bad could possibly happen. However, recently a light has been shone on the darker side of Hollywood that has not often been talked about.
With the recent sexual assault and harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, to name a couple, the issue of sexual violence is no longer being hidden away. There seems to be a far more open conversation and a number of celebrities are coming forward to reveal their experiences. Thanks to the people speaking out and the increasing social pressure to act against the perpetrators, we are beginning to see consequences for the people accused. For example, Kevin Spacey, who has played the lead character on the Netflix drama House of Cards for the past several years, is now being removed from the show. According to a statement from Netflix, the streaming service “will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey, we will continue to work with MRC [Media Rights Capital Studio] during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show.” This action against Spacey demonstrates that someone cannot rely on fame to avoid the consequences of what they are accused of. Although this is not a legal consequence, it is nice to see the industry beginning to hold these men accountable for their actions.
In response to the people revealing their experiences of abuse in Hollywood, many celebrities are coming together in solidarity to support each other in this situation. An example of this is the cast and crew of the CW drama One Tree Hill. Mark Schwahn, the showrunner and creator of the series, has been accused of sexual harassment by 18 women who were involved in the series. They spoke about the allegations against him in an open letter which has been widely viewed, while many of the male co-stars on One Tree Hill voiced their support and solidarity for all of these women on Twitter.
Sexual violence is such a serious issue, so why has it been ignored for so long? It is sad to realize that so many people have suffered in a place that seemed so perfect up until now. Many cases of sexual harassment and violence have been revealed, and it is shocking to find out how many people are affected. This situation makes you question if Hollywood was ever a safe place and if people will look at fame the same way again. We need to keep this conversation going and continue to show solidarity, or else we will not be able to create change. Sexual violence is not something that should be hidden. It is our duty to create a voice for all of the people who have experienced sexual violence and harassment.