Sexual Assault in Hollywood

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Sexual Assault in Hollywood

Chayla Cherry, News Editor

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Ah, Hollywood. Home of the Walk of Fame, Madame Tussaud’s, and the Chinese Theatre. However, as of late, it has been the Land of the Predators. It seems like every day a different celebrity has been outed as a perpetrator of sexual assault.
From Kevin Spacey to Ben Affleck, and Louis CK to seemingly sweet George Takei, those we’ve kept on a high pedestal for so long have supposedly fallen from grace.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Incidents involving former President George H. W. Bush, Ryan Seacrest, Pixar Co-Founder John Lasseter, and even current President Trump are some such examples. However, previous allegations were often swept under the rug, or otherwise forgiven once they came out.
Christian Slater, of Heathers and Mr. Robot fame, served 59 days of a 3 month prison sentence for assaulting his girlfriend in 1998. Yet, he was still hired in Hollywood. Years later, he was arrested for sexually assaulting a woman on the street. Seeing that he is a repeat offender, how does he still have a job? As much as people may say they are committed to eradicating sexual assault in the entertainment industry, this is obviously not the case if men like him are still being hired.
A recent development that took Twitter by storm is the case of indie-pop singer, Melanie Martinez. Martinez was accused of rape by her former friend, Timothy Heller. According to Heller, things took a dark turn at a sleepover one night when Martinez repeatedly asked Heller to have intercourse with her. Heller reportedly refused, mentioning her then-boyfriend, and that she didn’t want to. However, Martinez continued her begging. Heller eventually smoked with her, thinking she’d be able to fall asleep, but Martinez began groping her.
This eventually lead to Heller being raped. She had repeatedly said no, and couldn’t give consent under the influence in the first place. She was taken advantage of when she was most vulnerable.
This story is further proof that not only men do the assaulting. Terry Crews and James Van Der Beek are living evidence that women aren’t the only ones assaulted either. Rape isn’t about gender, it’s about power. The assailant asserts their dominance (whether physical or within their industry) over their victim, and it’s all over from there.
After all, who would believe anybody over a Hollywood A-Lister? They only want their 15 minutes of fame, right?
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. God only knows how many of those are entertainers afraid to come forward for fear of their career going under. We need to create a safer space for performers who want to further their careers, not cause harm to others.