We've had little time to breathe since the revelation of Harvey Weinstein's platinum dirtbag behavior. In just a few weeks, hundreds more have found the courage to speak out against various entertainment industry names like David Blaine, James Toback, Twiggy Ramirez, Terry Richardson, and the overall predatory beast that is Hollywood. Not to mention Screen Junkies creator Andy Signore, whose accusations came right at the same time as Weinstein's. It appears the true monsters of October were sweaty film majors and guys who dress like vampiric nightclub owners -- two groups which surprisingly happen to intersect:
Anyone paying attention knows that Harvey Weinstein's behavior was documented for years prior to this. Similarly, you've no doubt watched the cringe-inducing 2013 interview wherein Barbara Walters dismisses stories of pedophilia from Corey Feldman, who first named his abusers all the way back in fucking 1993. Since then, Hollywood has spent more time failing to remake Godzilla than addressing this problem.
So if many of these accusations aren't new to the public, why are people only now deciding to listen? Why did this suddenly become the month we exposed an industry so fraught with scandal that Variety now reads like a newspaper crime section?
I'll go ahead and warn you now: It has to do with Trump.
Ugh. Yeah, I know, sorry.
But before we get to America's inflaming boil of a president, I'd like to start at the heart of the story ... which is obviously the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. A student there conducted a test in which he had subjects describe a situation in their lives when they felt either powerful or powerless. They would then carry out a specific task involving gambling or problem-solving. What they found was that when powerless-feeling people described their situation as "unjust," they were far more likely to take big risks than those who had no perceived injustice. In other words, people who felt that life was unfair had a much grander "burn it to the fucking ground" attitude toward unrelated situations.
This is a long way of saying that everyone has a little John Wick in them (and not only because Keanu Reeves totally fucked all our mothers). If you feel cheated by a situation, you're a little more inclined to show caution the door. There's actually an extreme version of this called "post-traumatic embitterment disorder." It's when a person feels an injustice on their lives so hard that they seek retribution wherever they can get it. Slightly less extreme, people suffering PTSD from terrorist attacks or disasters will have a similar need to better the world around them to avoid future tragedy. Like how if you were really affected by The Day After Tomorrow, you might start a foundation to prevent Roland Emmerich from making more films.
So what I'm describing here is a psychological mindset in which something so unbelievably unfair happens that it triggers distress, a taste of nihilism, and the extreme desire for justice where you can take it.
Hey, did you know that Donald Trump has 30 movie and TV show credits to his name? Since the '90s, anytime someone wants to film in one of his terrible properties, he insisted on getting a cameo. And thanks to his reality TV stardom, he's as much an entertainer as a businessman. There are countless harrowing stories from Hollywood about working with Donald Trump. But more than that, Trump isn't anything new for Hollywood, as Seth MacFarlane once pointed out on Twitter:
Stewie is right; Donald Trump's personality is a bigger Hollywood staple than ignored poverty and improv theaters, down to the fact that he's had countless sexual misconduct accusations pinned to him for the last three decades. And then he was elected president of the United States, taint-punching all probability like some perverse cosmic boxer.
Imagine how that must have felt if you personally knew Trump and watched him waft into the Oval Office. Your instinct would be to never let another powerful asshole get off easy again. But I bet you don't have to imagine it.
See, we've all been plagued by our own personal Trumps -- ghouls who seem to flow between every attempt at comeuppance. "The Trumps" even sounds like some kind of unstoppable grundle infliction to begin with. But I'm specifically talking about people who have harassed or abused others, only to move up the ranks. And that's why, for a lot of us, Trump's victory not only hurt on a political level, but a personal one. There have already been numerous articles about the low-level post-traumatic stress some people have potentially felt from last November, and the need to regain control that comes with those feelings. And I believe that's the reason we're now ready to listen, and why the entertainment industry (a place swarming with Trumps) was the first to begin its purge.
But we have to make sure it doesn't stop there. Because as you well know, every industry has its Trump. It could be a groping engineer, racist librarian, or abusive sergeant -- slippery human trash isn't exclusive. And now that even the POTUS is a serial assaulter, never has it been a more important time to hold these people accountable.
Dave is on Twitter if you want to jam sometime.
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