Sexual harassment. Sexual assault. Rape. There’s been a lot of drama going on lately. In Hollywood, in Washington, in the media, it’s everywhere. People, men primarily, are dropping like flies. Men are losing their jobs left and right. You can’t swing the proverbial dead cat or turn on the television these days without hearing about the latest person to go down.
A common question I’ve heard regarding this recent state of affairs is: “Why now?” As in, why are these women all bringing these accusations forward now when they happened years ago? It’s not a wholly unfair question, but there are several legitimate possibilities why many of them waited. But we won’t be talking about that aspect in this post.
Now, admit it, when you started reading this, how many of you thought we would be going down that road? No, we’re going down a different road. This thread is about, “Why now?”, as in why are companies and political entities just now taking it seriously and firing people or forcing them out? Let’s talk examples…
Harvey Weinstein: This man had been doing all kinds of things for years, possibly decades. It was one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood, yet it was still a secret kept from most of the public. Weinstein had his protectors and defenders, many of them. Nobody outed him until just a couple months ago. And in the beginning most of these most staunch friends and supporters tried to make excuses for him, or act like it never happened, or just kept silent… until it became too much. So, for being an open secret for years, it suddenly became important in 2017.
Kevin Spacey: Allegedly many issues and unwanted actions primarily with young boys. Again, a not-so-well-kept secret within Hollywood. Shoot, even the tv show Family Guy had a scene a decade ago where Stewie is running down the street screaming he had just escaped from Kevin Spacey’s basement. It was known. And nobody did a thing.
Matt Lauer: At the risk of sounding like a broken record, people knew. Katie Couric said on an interview that he had pinched her butt. That was in 2012. Five… years… ago! And yet he still stayed on the air, got raises, did all kinds of special assignments gaining more fame and notoriety while his employer did nothing.
Al Franken: The guy comes from an irreverent comedy background, so really his older indiscretions should not come as a surprise to anyone. But, since he has recreated his public image into one of respectability, he’s portrayed himself a champion of fairness and integrity and a defender of women and women’s rights. All while continuing with the indiscretions, it seems. At first the Democratic Party elite defended him (and John Conyers), until at some point it all became too much, then even they started calling for resignations.
I’ve talked about how the Hollywood elite gave their people a pass for so long, but how about Congress? Back in 1995… that’s only 22 years ago, so many of those people who passed it are still in office… Congress passed special rules and created a special fund to shield their own from public knowledge.
And it just goes on and on. You’ll have to excuse me if I’m skeptical of employer or Congressional concern and pious indignation. I could cite many more current examples, but you get the idea. Why now? Why is it suddenly so freaking important that something be done?