The Parthenon

Editorial: Weinstein should be a wake up call to our generation


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In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, a question needs to be asked. What kind of culture has been set where these powerful men have been able to get away with taking advantage of women, and people are willing to just be innocent bystanders?

What is now being realized is that Weinstein’s reputation was well know among Hollywood’s inner circle. “Congratulations, you ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” That was a joke made by actor and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane during 2013’s Oscar nominations.

Although MacFarlane said the joke was meant to be a jab at Weinstein directly, it seemed like an insensitive moment of neglect. This came after an advancement made on one of MacFarlane’s friends Jessica Barth. Barth has since come forward as one of the many women Weinstein reportedly sexually harassed.

But what does this say about Hollywood? Although what MacFarlane did was admirable in some aspects, he still knew about the harassment and chose to do nothing about it. That was only four years ago. MacFarlane would have been hailed a hero if he had done something about the issue. Instead he is just one of many warning signs that have now surfaced from years past.

For these women to come out and admit that Weinstein made advances towards them promising success and a chance to make it in an industry that is near impossible to make it in, is understandably difficult. But for the people who knew, what makes it so hard to do something about that?

Maybe it’s a testament to the fact that we, as a society, are finally moving out of a world dominated by men who think they can do whatever they want because they have money, although some would argue that we are just as easily reverting with the election of a certain someone who believes you can do whatever you want because you’re famous and have money.

Fame: that is exactly what Weinstein would promise his victims in return for sexual favors, many of whom are notable figures in the film industry, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie.

If you’re not sure who Harvey Weinstein is, you’ve for sure seen his films. Weinstein is one of the biggest names in film of the past 40 years, and because of this, he has been able to use his power to take advantage of women.

What does this say though that he was able to most likely do this for nearly 40 years? That people are afraid of controversy or getting involved if it means that it could hurt their career. If this was to happen at Marshall, there would be an uproar after one incident, but because Weinstein was powerful, he was able to get away with this for so long.

What needs to be said is that this should be a sign for us, as students going out into the work force eventually, that in the society we live in today won’t stand for this. We’ve seen it begin to happen with people like Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes who were accused of similarly harassing women.

But in other cases, we see too often that because of power, fame or fortune, it can cloud other people’s judgment. Bill Cosby and frankly the president of the United States were given a free pass. Why is that? Maybe because half of the country saw these men in a more romanticized sense and couldn’t bring themselves to condemn these admired figures.

This is unfortunately another uncovering of a disgusting and corrupt practice that has too long been seen as the norm. For those who may still be confused with the issue, sexual harassment is a fireable offense, most likely resulting in not getting another job and possibly being sued by the victim.

So if you hear someone say “no,” “I don’t feel comfortable” or simply just “stop,” then you should listen to them. Our generation needs to set these precedents now so that in the future we aren’t led by perverted, power hungry,

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