On Oct. 5, 2017, The New York Times published an article exposing film producer Harvey Weinstein as a serial perpetrator of sexual harassment. His victims include many women of Hollywood, including actresses Angelina Jolie and Gwenyth Paltrow. Many have since condemned Weinstein and his actions, including countless female actresses and even Hillary Clinton who previously accepted his donations to her political campaigns. Weinstein’s actions are undeniably disgusting, especially from the position of a man who possessed massive amounts of power over women’s careers. And while many female celebrities are stepping up to speak out against Weinstein’s unforgivable actions, it seems as if it is male celebrities who aren’t doing their part to actively condemn a sexual abuser.
Now, it is true that some men of Hollywood have publicly condemned Weinstein. In an interview with The Daily Beast, George Clooney called his actions “indefensible”. However, many actors, some who have previously worked closely with Weinstein, aren’t doing their part to make it clear that what Weinstein has done is not okay.
The Guardian contacted 26 male actors to acquire comments on the accusations about Weinstein. A few (George Clooney, Ben Affleck) made statements days after The Guardian contacting them. The rest of them either declined to answer or didn’t respond. These men include Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper, DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt — all men who have enormous platforms and power. Their silence is a problem.
Now, more than ever, it’s imperative for powerful men to speak out and harshly condemn Harvey Weinstein’s actions to make an example out of him, showing that behavior such as this will not be tolerated in Hollywood or anywhere else. The victims of Weinstein’s assaults that have brought this issue to light are courageous women; now, their male counterparts need to stand behind them in solidarity. By not speaking out, however, these men are enabling abusers like Weinstein to continue their abuse. Being silent is being complicit, and complicity perpetuates rape culture.Men calling out other men is essential in dismantling the looming rape culture in our world. If men don’t condemn those who are sexually abusive, young boys will never be taught that this isn’t okay.
The more male celebrities that condemn Harvey Weinstein’s actions, the better. Their voices are crucial in setting a precedent of refusing to accept the vile actions of abusers.