The title of this editorial is appropriate for the time frame of these events but in essence the cases of sexual abuse and harassment by people within the entertainment industry has gone on for decades. Females working their way up in an industry littered with men in powerful situations define these men as predators who for as far back as I can remember have had what even Marilyn Monroe called a ‘casting couch’. For far too long the industry, and I include the music industry in the all encompassing title of ‘entertainment’, has turned its back on the complainants as if this was part of the job description.
The details of Weinstein and the horrific stories of abuse on women has brought this subject back into the light of day from behind the paneled oak doors of entertainment executives and also male artists who have seen it as a right to make women objects of unwanted sexual attention. The music industry does not escape this disgusting practice just as no industry is completely innocent of this practice, but the very nature of this beast where powerful people can make or break a career of a woman is abhorrent.
In the past few days female artists have spoken out of their horrific ordeals at the hands of people who have used and abused their status for their own sick gratification. Stories have come to light of male artists, in some cases, so called friends of the victims, deciding it was their god-given right to sexually abuse these women. By the very nature of the industry these victims have been made to feel as if it was THEIR FAULT! They’ve been called out for overreacting, being problematic, and until this week have found no sounding board for the pain and anxiety these men have caused and which continues to haunt their lives, not just for minutes or hours but for their Entire life!
Social media has always been a sounding board for gripes, rants, beefs and the like but this week women of the ilk of Dani Deahl, Alice in Wonderland, LeilaClaire have posted the horrible details of what they have endured not only within the industry but at the hands of men who think they have a right with no consequences to do these things.
We also saw the calling out of artists by name by women including two fans of The GasLamp Killer that also have endured the pain at the hands of a predator who thinks by issuing a statement that it was ‘consensual’ will automatically make it go away. Add to this the out of court settlement of DVBBS to the girls in Europe who were assaulted and how money quietens these actions. This is 2017 and to say we, as women, have had a gutful of this is an understatement!
While I realize that these men be it artists or promoters or powerful Hollywood moguls are in a minority that do little for the reputation of good artists with good intentions and ones that also value the equality of women within the industry, it sadly puts the spotlight on a situation that is NOT going away unless women like these brave few speak out. Some of the artists are indeed working and still lauded within the industry and what fails me is how the homophobic comments of Ten Walls curtailed his career yet this practice of abusing and sexually harrassing women within the industry continues with blind eyes to it all? How is that a thing?
I too have not been immune to it when I first began working in the 80’s and back then it was a taboo subject that was not even murmured about, I was the P.A of a Managing Director and his wife was actually my bridesmaid at my wedding, I counted them both as friends and yet it did not stop him from making unwanted advances before and yes even after my marriage. Even now I remember the words ‘No one has to know’ whispered in my ear as I made coffee in the office one morning.
I would have thought from the 80’s to now we’d have come a long way from the ‘keeping silent’ over these predators and I only hope the strength of these women and the ones who have come out over Weinstein will set a precedent that NO women need to go through this without having a place to address these stories in the public domain and that NO man will ever be able to use ‘No one will Know’ phrase to condone this ugly scenario.
These women are heroes, they may not see themselves as such, but in my eyes and hopefully more generations to come, they will have set the standard that needs to flourish in any and All industries. It also floors me that even after Dani Deahl had laid out the details of her story there were members of the Music Industry who took it upon themselves to make a joke of it still! This behavior is unacceptable and should men choose to go down that path or the vile sexual predator life then women will no longer be that silent minority who grins and bears it! Name and shame ladies, these men have no rights left to have their names suppressed and the law has no room to allow these people to get away with it just because someone said they were important. It’s 2017 and this Has to end now!