Many prominent male figures in show business, the media and politics are falling swiftly from grace as countless women (and men) come forward with accusations of sexual assault. What began as one report from several A-lister starlets has now become an unceasing flow of new allegations almost daily. The public has seen an instantaneous surge of sexual assault and sexual misconduct allegations alike, ousting one male celebrity after the next from positions of power and influence. After decades of being stifled, accusers are sharing their stories and demanding answers.
The slew of sexual assault allegations began on October 5th, when the New York Times published an article revealing several women’s accounts of being sexually assaulted by media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein is accused of harassing or assaulting over 80 women throughout his career as a film producer. Although he denies any allegations of non-consensual sex, Weinstein was subsequently fired from his own film production company, The Weinstein Company, and expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. He has hired two defense lawyers after police found allegations of rape credible.
Just days after Weinstein’s fall, Ben Affleck made headlines on October 10th when he was accused by multiple women for sexual harassment. Actress Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s many accusers, claimed Affleck knew of Weinstein’s predatory behavior. Affleck responded by apologizing and swore to be “part of the solution, not the problem.”
As more and more victims broke their silence, the floodgates opened for women across all industries to share their disturbing experiences, starting with Hollywood. Over the next two months, dozens of powerful men would follow in Weinstein’s steps and be similarly disgraced.
A 2017 Timeline of Prominent Men Accused of Sexual Assault
Harvey Weinstein is accused of rape, assault and sex trafficking; he denies all allegations.
Actor and director Ben Affleck is accused of sexual harassment and releases an apology.
Amazon executive Roy Price is accused of sexual harassment, after which he is suspended and resigns days later.
Nickelodeon producer Chris Savino is accused of harassing 12 women, then issues an apology and is subsequently fired.
Editorial Director of Vox Media Lockhart Steele is accused of sexual harassment and is immediately fired.
“Top Chef” and “Food Network Challenge” judge John Besh is accused by 25 women of sexual harassment and resigns from the Restaurant group.
Screenwriter and director James Toback is accused by hundreds of women of sexual harassment and denies allegations. An investigation is underway.
Prominent fashion photographer Terry Richardson, who has shot campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Yves Saint Laurent and Tom Ford, is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with models spanning over two decades. He denies the allegations yet is subsequently banned from working with Vogue and other publications.
Former editor at media journal The New Republic Leon Wieseltier is accused of sexually harassing numerous women. He apologizes and is fired.
Artforum magazine publisher Knight Landesman is accused by at least 9 women and resigns from the magazine.
E! News Correspondent Ken Baker accused of sexual harassment of two women and is pulled from the air while the complaints – which he denies – are under investigation.
Senior MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin is accused of harassing 12 women while at ABC news. He denies some of the allegations and is terminated from MSNBC and NBC news.
Actor Kevin Spacey is accused by 24 men of sexual assault, including a 14-year-old actor. He apologizes and comes out at the same time, drawing harsh criticism from the LGBT community. Spacey is fired from “House of Cards” and replaced in another role.
A second former employee of The New Republic, Hamilton Fish, is also accused of multiple sexual harassment allegations and resigns from his position.
Actor Jeremy Piven is accused of sexual misconduct by three women and denies all allegations.
Comedian, actor, film producer and musician Andy Dick is accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by four people. Dick denied allegations and was fired from his working film.
American journalist Michael Oresks is accused of sexual harassment by four women while at the New York Times, NPR and the Associated Press. He apologized and resigned from NPR.
Actor Dustin Hoffman is accused of sexually harassing an intern on one of his films when she was 17.
Kentucky politician Jeff Hoover steps down after it is discovered that he secretly settled a sexual harassment claim by a woman on his legislative staff.
Filmmaker Brett Ratner is accused by six women of sexual harassment, assault and battery. He denies allegations and is suing his rape accuser for libel.
Co-CEO of Primary Wave Entertainment David Guillod is accused by three women of drugging and sexually assaulting them, while three other women are accusing him of rape. Guillod denies all accusations and is taking a leave of absence.
Actor Ed Westwick is accused by two women of forcing himself on them and raping them. Westwick denies the allegations, which are under investigation.
Actor Jeffrey Tambor is accused by two women of sexual misconduct and denies the allegations.
Comedian Louis C.K. is accused of sexual misconduct by five women and admits to the allegations. His film and Netflix specials were cancelled.
“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner was accused of sexual harassment. He denied the allegations.
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama and American politician Roy Moore is accused of molesting several teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 18 before becoming a prominent judge and politician. Moore vehemently denies all allegations and has not resigned from office.
Hollywood writer and producer Gary Goddard is accused of sexually assaulting several minors, including actor Anthony Edwards. He has taken leave from his company amid denying the allegations.
Editor of DC Comics Eddie Berganza is accused of groping and forcibly kissing at least two female employees after which he was fired by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.
Producer Andrew Kreisbery is accused by 19 women of sexual harassment. He denied the allegations and was suspended by Warner Bros. Television Group.
Comedian turned U.S. Senator Al Franken is accused of sexually assaulting several women. He resigned from the senate on December 7
Hip hop producer Russell Simmons is accused of sexually assaulting six women. Simmons plans to relinquish his leadership roles in all the companies he has founded.
PNS and CBS Host Charlie Rose is accused by several women of unwanted sexual advances. He apologized but questioned the legitimacy of the accusations.
New York Times White House Reporter Glenn Thrush is accused of making drunken, unwanted advances on multiple women. He has been suspended from the newspaper.
Pixar and Disney Animation chief John Lasseter was accused by several women of unwanted touching. He is taking a 6-month sabbatical.
Boy bandmate Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys is accused of rape from 15 years ago. He has denied the allegations.
The Today Show host Matt Lauer is accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace. He apologized and NBC News terminated his employment.
A Changing Culture for Sexual Assault Victims
These statistics offer a glimpse into a harrowing reality that has mostly been veiled until now. With status comes power, persuasion and often a lack of accountability. Before a few months ago, many victims have tried to speak out only to have their cries silenced with money, intimidation or even by their own lawyers. Privileged men have been abusing their status to commit unspeakable acts since forever ago. However, the culture seems to be witnessing a shift, where a victim’s voice is finally heard and a predator sees real consequences.
Victims of sexual abuse often feel shame for what has happened to them, what they have not asked to see or experience. Many resist exposing their perpetrators for fear of not being taken seriously. But one victim’s courage becomes another victim’s strength, causing a ripple effect. Those harmed who are coming forward are more than victims; they are survivors. By speaking up, they are taking a stand not just for themselves, but for survivors everywhere.
Join Countless Others in the Fight Against Sexual Abuse
If these facts offer you any consolation, may it be that you are truly not alone. If you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, harassment, assault or battery, you too can receive healing and even justice. Join thousands of brave women and men who are reclaiming their voices and their lives.
Whether it was yourself or a loved one, no one should have to suffer from sexual abuse. The attorneys at Jessica Pride are passionate and experienced at winning justice and compensation on behalf of victims of sexual assault. You can call to file a claim or simply call us to talk or ask questions. We offer private consultations without any obligation and can give free legal advice anonymously. Speak with one of our caring staff today by calling (619) 516-8166 for a confidential, risk-free consultation.