Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Holywood Harassment and Weinstein, Price, Lawrence -it's all about our celebrity obession

It’s oozing out of Holywood now like a lanced boil, successful allegations of sexual harassment by female stars and wannabes. Harvey Weinstein is facing multiple allegations of rape and harassment and no doubt a sizeable claim from his now ex-wife. We learnt yesterday that the head of Amazon films Roy Price has resigned following allegations that he propositioned Isa Hackett “repeatedly and crudely”. No doubt more detail will be provided in due course. Now Jennifer Lawrence is claiming she was made to take part in a nude line up as part of an audition.
What we’re witnessing from this side of the Atlantic has been mirrored here already. First to be outed and properly pilloried was Jimmy Saville as countless allegations came in from hundreds of people about his shocking, criminal past. Then it was the turn of other DJs. Dave Lee Travis was given a suspended sentence for assault on one young girl in 1995 after facing a multitude of charges that jurors just couldn’t seem to agree on.

The obsession with celebrity both sides of the Atlantic does nothing to help protect women from men in power. Complaints when they do reach the authorities are too easily brushed off as coming from attention seekers wanting to sell a story to the tabloids.  Too many women are ready to forgo lodging formal complaints knowing the damage they may do to their chances of achieving leading roles and fame of a global dimension.

These people wherever and whoever they are should expect to work in the same environment as everyone else. Employees both in the UK and in the USA at reputable employers are required to do regular training on equality and diversity in the workplace. Tinseltown's training should be no exception. Perhaps even mandatory.

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