Opinion

Sexual assault: Art cannot be separated from the artist

By AUSTIN GAW

As most people are already aware at this point, a slew of allegations have surfaced of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault against various men of the Hollywood film industry.  These allegations are mostly too graphic to describe, and have been aimed at many larger-than-life Hollywood celebrities, most notably Harvey Weinstein, Louis C.K., Charlie Sheen and Kevin Spacey. These men have already felt serious ramifications in their careers, from their television shows ending, to their roles being replaced in movies, to their companies replacing their executive positions. And yet, even though these men have each been accused of vile acts by various women, people still insist on supporting their content.

The most common argument is that they can support the art without supporting the artist. But this is just blatantly false; the content that one creates is a part of them. This is shown by the allegations against the men themselves. For example, of the initial women that accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, four of them attest to inappropriate touching and three of them told of nonconsensual sexual assault, according to the New Yorker’s article “From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories.”

By continuing to support these men’s content, people essentially waive off the struggle and pain of the victims. The content of these men reflects their character, both the good and bad. A prime example of this is the television show Kevin Spacey is most notable for, Netflix’s “House of Cards.” By continuing to watch “House of Cards,” people essentially give a metaphorical thumbs-up to Spacey, saying that it is okay that he did such vile things, because he is good at his job. This is the world that Hollywood has become: powerful men using their power to get whatever they want.

The proof is in the pudding, as veteran Hollywood journalist Gay Talese tells Kevin Spacey’s accusers to “…suck it up… [because] it happened ten years ago” in an article in Vanity Fair. This kind of attitude is exactly what causes events like what Spacey and what Weinstein and what C.K. and what Sheen did to happen. And so, the next time someone says that they still watch “House of Cards,” “Two and a Half men,” “Louie” or “Kill Bill,” ask them to remember that the content is a direct reflection of the character. Ask them to remember that by continuing to support the artist, they are neglecting the pain and suffering of the victims, and that they are giving the go-ahead for someone to commit an atrocity like that again.

sexual assault
By BENJAMIN WEAR
Sources:
National Statistics on Sexual Violence, endsexualviolencect.org/resources/get-the-facts/national-statistics-on-sexual-violence/.

Silentscreamsinc. “Rape Statistics 2017.” Silent Screams Inc., silentscreams4help.org/agencies-survivor/rape-statistics-2017/.

“Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics.” RAINN. https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence.

Vagianos, Alanna. “30 Alarming Statistics That Show The Reality Of Sexual Violence In America.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 6 Apr. 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sexual-assault-statistics_us_58e24c14e4b0c777f788d24f.

Categories: Opinion

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