Photo Credits: Alexa Traviesa (piktochart)
Harvey Weinstein is one of the world’s most powerful film producers. Weinstein co-founded Miramax, an entertainment film company. Weinstein has been executive producer to an abundance of well renowned films, such as “Lord of the Rings”, “The King’s Speech”, and “Silver Lining’s Playbook”.
The New York Times recently reported that more than a dozen women have been allegedly sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped by Weinstein in the past. After the article was published, more women spoke out and reported that they have experienced similar encounters with Weinstein.
Subsequently, Weinstein was fired from his production company, suspended from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and expelled from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Los Angeles Police Department, New York Police Department, and the City of London Police have all opened criminal investigations for alleged rape.
So far, 50 actresses have spoken out about inappropriate encounters with Weinstein, including Gwyenth Paltrow, Lupita Nyong’o, Angelina Jolie, and Cara Delevigne. Weinstein targeted young aspiring actresses. He threatened their careers and their futures if they were to refuse anything he asked of them.
Nina Alberdi (‘18), “I was so shocked and honestly disgusted. What happened was so horrible; no one should have to go through what the victims went through and I was so surprised about how long it went on before it was reported. I learned that anytime something like that is happening, exposing it before it happens to others is one of the best things someone can do. I’m glad it was finally reported and he’s over.”
Ava Camposano (‘21), “It is terrible knowing that a human being can treat another human like they are an object – especially how men think they can treat women like objects and face no punishment. The fact that things like this happen in many places is unbelievable and scary.”
Alyssa LoSauro (‘18), “The whole scandal doesn’t surprise me because society nowadays is messed up, especially in Hollywood. It is a shame how he pressured actresses when he should’ve been focusing on his job. I learned that women need to make more of a stand and I am glad that the truth finally came out.”
Theresa Tulsiak (‘19), “Women should feel safe going to work, no matter what their job is. If I were ever in a situation like that, I would be terrified. The right thing to do is definitely to leave when things get uncomfortable, but I can imagine it would difficult for the innocent aspiring actresses.”
In the past, Achona moderator, Melissa Cox [now LeBlanc], used to teach in a public high school. Walking across the quad after class, LeBlanc heard senior students yell across at her, saying, “Miss Cox, you are so sexy.” LeBlanc stopped and began walking over to the boys and said, “What did you just call me?” The boys stood silently and giggled. “Do not ever say that to me ever again,” LeBlanc said and walked away. This is a simple example of how women are objectified every day. Commenting, whistling, and staring at women in a sexual manner is extremely disrespectful.
Addressing the situation as it happens is one immediate way to stop sexual harassment. Other ways are to tell someone of authority, confront the harasser, educate boys on how to respect girls.