It would be hard to go through social media, pop culture, or even Google without seeing the new movement that has arisen in the past few months. The #MeToo Movement. The #MeToo Movement represents a growing class of survivors of sexual assault and harassment from those in the entertainment industry speaking out about the harms they have faced at the hands of those in power.
I would argue that one of the first women to come out and speak about the sexual assault she faced at the hands of one of the most powerful men in the music industry was Kesha. Kesha attempted to fight to get out of her contract after years of being subjected to sexual assault by Dr. Luke. However, after her court case was ruled in favor of Dr. Luke there was not much hope for other survivors to come out and speak about their treatments. In addition, over 50 women came out and spoke about the sexual misconduct of Bill Cosby against them. He was also not completely held accountable for his actions. Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes were also revealed to have committed years of atrocities against women that worked alongside them and both lost their jobs, as the outrage continued (CBS News). Finally, one of the most visible cases in the news has been reported about Harvey Weinstein. Several women have come forth and discussed his predatory nature. Some of the biggest names in the industry like Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne, Rose McGowan, and so many more (Moniuzcko). It seems pretty obvious that many women within the industry have experienced these horrendous conditions and will no longer accept it. These women and men are role models for many in the public and as survivors using their voice for good has been vital to change these horrific conditions.
The #MeToo movement represents something even bigger. Its a movement that may be the most visible within the entertainment industry but it permeates throughout all professional working environments and in general, society. The first step to ending the acceptance of rape culture throughout society and media is using the voices of the most privileged in the entertainment industry to effect change. It may seem shocking to some men that all their favorite directors, producers, actors, etc. were actually sexual predators but this is occurring in more places than just the entertainment industry. The entertainment industry was just another industry that kept the sexual assault and harassment epidemic in the workplace quiet and hush-hush. In addition, many of these survivors were fearful that if they spoke up they would be shamed, lose their jobs and opportunities, and maybe even their careers. These are shared fears by victims of all walks of life. This movement is so much more than getting these predatory directors, actors, etc. out of the business but it is about solidarity and courage. If one of these women or men who are survivors speak up as role models they may influence other’s ability and desire to come out to speak about their trauma in their own regular lives.