By Magda Abdi
As the #MeToo accusations against prominent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein stacked up, Weinstein stayed mostly silent. Big Hollywood names like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow accused him of inappropriate behavior. He lost his job. He checked into rehab. But he didn’t specifically respond to their claims.
Then Lupita Nyong’o penned an op-ed in the New York Times describing how Weinstein sexually harassed her and told her if she wanted to be a famous actress, she would have to sleep with him. This time, Weinstein responded specifically to her. Through a spokesperson, he told E! News that Weinstein has a “different recollection of events.”
Although the #MeToo movement has empowered women and men to speak out about their own instances of sexual harassment, assault and mistreatment, the reactions to some of the victims have not been compassionate. When an accuser has not fit into the mold of what society thinks a victim should be, their stories have been more readily dismissed—and that’s unacceptable.
Megan Fox and Corey Feldman are two people who have spoken up about their #MeToo experiences for years. Prominent director Michael Bay has dismissed Fox’s claims, calling her a “porn star” and “dumb as a rock.”
After the #MeToo movement gained steam, a clip from ‘The View’ resurfaced of Corey Feldman. For years, he said, he was abused by older men in the film industry. In the interview, he said that the people who abused him and another former child star, Corey Haim, are “still working” and are still powerful.
“You’re damaging an entire industry,” Barbara Walters told him.
When Brendan Fraser accused Philip Berk, the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, of groping him, Berk admitted he had touched Fraser, but dismissed it as only a joke. The action star, remembered for his roles in ‘George of the Jungle’ and ‘The Mummy,’ was seen as a masculine figure. Fraser said the experience led him to retreat from public life.
Terry Crews, the former NFL star now known for his role on ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ also opened up about his own #MeToo experience. He said he was groped at a party in 2016 by a top Hollywood agent.
Crews told People Magazine that he faced “blowback” for sharing his story and blamed it on “toxic masculinity.”
As a society, we need to use the #MeToo movement as a way to empower people, and pay attention to the responses of the accused.