Sexual assault allegations reveal Hollywood has a problem

First came the media mogul Harvey Weinstein. Then it was “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey.

Over the past month, dozens of men and women, mostly other big names in the film industry, came forward and accused these men of sexual assault. The accusations range from groping and sexual harassment to sexual advances on minors.

The list grew longer by the day. As Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Stone, Andy Dick, Danny Masterson, James Toback, Brett Ratner, Jeremy Piven, among others, have all been accused.

While every one of these accused predators is worthy of our attention and, if found guilty, scorn and punishment, the excuses for inexcusable, predatory behavior are stunning.

“I’m beyond horrified to hear his story,” Spacey said in a public statement after actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making sexual advances when Rapp was just 14-years-old. Spacey went on to say that Rapp’s allegations “encouraged [him] to address other things about [his] life,” confirming long standing suspicions that he was gay.

“I overtook my medication and took too many Xanax and I was a bit loopy,” Andy Dick told Hollywood Reporter after he was fired from an indie movie over allegations of sexual harassment. “I won’t do it anymore,” he assured reporters. “I won’t lick anyone’s face anymore. We have an agreement.”

Any attempt to sexually assault anyone, especially a minor, is an inconceivable, inexcusable crime. To try and defend such a crime by hiding behind one’s sexuality or medication is unthinkable and an insult to the millions of members of the LGBTQ community and the mentally ill.

If there is a silver lining in the horrific tales the accusers have told, it’s that law enforcement officials and the general public seem to finally be taking sexual assault seriously. Production for House of Cards, the Netflix hit Spacey starred in, was canceled after Netflix said it would sever all ties with Spacey, according to BBC.

According to USA Today, officials with the Los Angeles Police Department are investigating accusations of sexual assault made against Weinstein, confirming in a tweet that the department “has interviewed a potential sexual assault victim involving Harvey Weinstein which allegedly occurred in 2013,” adding that the investigation was ongoing. According to the same report, police in New York City are adding additional charges.

If the last month has shown the nation anything, it’s that the culture of sexual assault, of excusing the actions of men and belittling the men and women they abuse, goes right to the very top. The perverts among us are no longer just the lonesome creeps on street corners, but those we see on our television screens and in movie theaters.