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Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood predators


kerraig UK
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Al Franken allegedly groped a sleeping woman.

 

I say the word allegedly but...

 

 

 

Edit. Al Franken makes a statement.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/16/us/politics/al-franken-sexual-harassment-groping-forcible-kissing.html

 



WASHINGTON — A growing national outcry over sexual harassment reached the Senate on Thursday, when a radio newscaster accused Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, of kissing and groping her without consent during a 2006 U.S.O. tour of the Middle East before he took public office.

Mr. Franken, who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, almost immediately released an apology to the newscaster, Leeann Tweeden, who said that Mr. Franken forcibly kissed her during a rehearsal and groped her for a photo as she slept....

 

“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women,” Mr. Franken wrote.

“I respect women. I don’t respect men who don’t,” he continued. “And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”...

 

The swift, unsparing response came from Republicans and Democrats alike. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, the Senate leaders, wasted no time before forwarding the matter to the Senate Ethics Committee — a move supported by Democrats, including Mr. Franken. Lawmakers did stop short of meting out a punishment on a fellow senator, and it appeared that Mr. Franken would be able to weather the disclosure.

“As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter,” Mr. McConnell said in a statement. “Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable — in the workplace or anywhere else.”

Democrats gave Mr. Franken no quarter.

“This is unacceptable behavior and extremely disappointing. I am glad Al came out and apologized, but that doesn’t reverse what he’s done or end the matter. I support an ethics committee investigation into these accusations and I hope this latest example of the deep problems on this front spurs continued action to address it,” said Patty Murray of Washington, one of the most senior Democratic women in the Senate.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

 

Yeah... that’s not how the justice system works.

 

I’ve known women talk shit about this sort of thing. I know two people who were falsely accused. It’s happened in high profile cases.

What then?

 

When we get down to the nitty gritty.

 

In the majority of cases given the disadvantages women face from making allegations I’m More inclined to believe women who come forward and tell of their experiences. Because we’ve done the other thing where we tell women “yeah sorry but unless you take this to court and prove it beyond reasonable doubt within a timely period, bring receipts” has led to serial abusers getting away with everything from creepiness to sexual assault for decades.

 

(I have some pretty massive biases in thIs area so I accept that my viewpoint isn’t the most balanced when it comes to this subject.)

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3 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

 

Well you'r right, that is a problem that needs looking at. But it also applies to the victim of any type of crime, right?

 

Yes but for decades the victims of this sort of assault have been labelled liars or have been expected to bend over backwards in order not to make life uncomfortable for the man who attacked them. From a survivor’s point of view the sudden sea change of the past couple of weeks has been almost intoxicating. But now I’m moving well off topic. I might expand on it later in the metoo thread.

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This is one is a bit different because it was dredged up by the Daily Mail based on an old police report that was filed in the eighties. The woman in question hasn't spoken out, and didn't want to press charges. It's just a grubby journalist trying to find another celebrity harasser to stick onto the front page rather than giving a platform to a woman who wants to tell her story. That's not to say it didn't happen, of course.

 

EDIT: I'm wrong. The story that was originally reported in Feb last year does quote her as speaking out:

http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/sylvester-stallone-accused-30-years-ago-allegedly-group-sex-teen-police-say/2016/02/16

Quote

 

The woman, now 46, said that the incident has haunted her for three decades, but has come forward because she wants Stallone to understand how his actions have impacted her life. The Baltimore Post-Examiner does not identify names of victims or children of sexual incidents.

 

“He should be ashamed of himself, what he did to me affected my life and destroyed me,” she said in an exclusive interview with the Baltimore Post-Examiner. 

She said she hopes by telling what happened to her in 1986 would help other girls be more careful of who they see as role models so they don’t become a victim. She said the detailed police report was accurate. She claimed Stallone and De Luca had sexual intercourse and oral sex with her at a Las Vegas Hilton Hotel in July 1986.

 

She said that she hasn’t talked a lot about it to family members, but the incident has been locked up in the back of her head, and has affected her relationships with men over the years.


“I am scared of men and have a hard time sticking up for myself around men, I am a loner,” she said in a phone interview.

 

Stallone did not offer her money for silence and she had no further contact with him or De Luca after the incident, she said. They had threatened her to keep quiet, but at the time she thought they were joking. Now, she isn’t so sure if it was joke.

 

Asked what she would say to him if she ran into him, she said she would ask him bluntly: “Being a star and someone who people looked up to and admired, how could you have done that to me?”

 

Since the incident she has refused to watch any of Stallone’s movies, including Creed, where he has been nominated for an Oscar. She said she cannot stomach even seeing him on television.

 

After the sexual encounter in 1986, the woman said she has one lasting memory. “I can never forget the smirk Mike [De Luca] had on his face as he looked at me as I left the room,” she said.

 

A family member of the woman also confirmed that the incident has left emotional scars that have remained with her throughout her life. The woman has yet to seek counseling help, but after opening up about the incident during this interview, her family member said it might lead her to get professional counseling.

 

 

EDIT: @grindmouse I understand your hesitance, and it's always best to reserve judgment on both sides in these situations, but you've got to ask yourself why a woman would go through all that - filing a report and then, years later, speaking out again - if it didn't happen? And also, why would Stallone admit to it? The only time men are admitting to these things is when there are multiple corroborating reports.

 

I agree that a single report shouldn't be enough to consign someone to the dustbin but I also agree with others who say that you ought to give the victim the benefit of the doubt. 

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3 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

Yes but for decades the victims of this sort of assault have been labelled liars or have been expected to bend over backwards in order not to make life uncomfortable for the man who attacked them. From a survivor’s point of view the sudden sea change of the past couple of weeks has been almost intoxicating. But now I’m moving well off topic. I might expand on it later in the metoo thread.

Hopefully one thing to change from all this is that the system makes it easier for women to come forward and be taken seriously. However, to simplify it to "Believe women" is a dangerous route to go. We only need to look at the fallout of the Jimmy Savile case to see that many famous names had their lives and careers ruined by false accusations.

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6 hours ago, grindmouse said:

 

Yeah... unquestioning belief of one party is not how any sort of justice system works.

 

I’ve been mates with a woman who talked shit about this sort of thing when she was having other personal mental health issues.

I know two people who were falsely accused in separate instances. It’s happened in high profile cases.

Not every allegation will be true. What then?

Well each case would have to be investigated accordingly, but you seem all too ready to write victims off with "mental health issues" which really isn't helpful. 

 

In the case with Stallone, from what we know, there's no underlying mental health issues.

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So surely this movement is good then? Whilst it won't solve the problem outright it is a watershed moment that could change things in our society over time. 

 

But I don't think it's cool to be doubting every accusation that comes along, just in case it might not be true. It's become so ingrained in our society that men have the upper hand, that whenever anyone speaks out, particularly a woman, they're branded mental.

 

Here's a line from Mother by Idles which kind of sums up how it's become so ingrained, and the difference facing women than men.

 

Quote

Sexual violence doesn't start and end with rape
It starts in our books and behind our school gates
Men are scared women will laugh in their face
Whereas women are scared it's their lives men will take

 

 

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When it comes to "believe women" (which came across a little glib) I guess how I look at it practically is like this.

 

When it comes to situations like Stallone it doesn't matter what I think to an extent. I don't know the woman making the allegation. I don't know Stallone. What I think about the case is neither here nor there.

 

In my own life though? If a friend told me that she had been sexually assualted? Or a colleague? Or someone in my social circle? I'd go with believing first.

 

Because it's incredibly weird, if a friend told you she'd been mugged you'd sympathise. If she told you she'd had some of her stuff stolen from a mutual friend it would be a cause for concern. But when it comes to sexual assault traditionally the script flips. It's the victim that suddenly has to explain / prove that she didn't cause this or that she isn't lying.

 

And so there's been this constant pressure for women just to deal with it internally. YOu aren't going to be believed and even if you are, think of the effect on his career / family / legacy. How could you be so selfish? And if it's a "lesser" offence (think Louis CK masturbating in front of women) there's this weird double arguement presented as to why women shouldn't report. "Hey, it's trivial, apart from your feelings of safety were you actually hurt? Let it go. / Besides this is so important that it could mar his career. DO you want to make him a pariah? How will he feed his family? Let it go.

 

And the problem with asking women to internalise this to protect our favourite artists or political voices is that we've lost so many more. It's like we're completely prepared to sacrifice dozens of women and children for another movie, another comedy special or another political win.

 

And for me I guess there are levels, your views may differ.

 

One woman speaks up about a beloved public figure. I'm open to listening to her story.

 

Many women speak up about a beloved public figure. I'm completely up for believing their story, particularly when there appears to be a pattern.

 

The celebrity themselves admits to it and confesses / apologises. It shouldn't even need to be said but of course I believe them. (I've seen people in other public forums tying themselves in knots continuing to assert that the accusers of Louis CK or Al Franken are lying.)

 

And of course it goes without question that I believe women in my private life. And hopefully in more productive ways than I have previously. (There's been a couple of times in my youth where in retrospect I've probably made things worse, but I'll write about that another time.)

 

So yeah, for me it is pretty easy. Believe women.

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47 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

 

This is nonsense. The necessity of proof always lies with the person who makes the allegation. 

 

Believing the victim in this circumstance results in the destruction of the accused, their reputation and career. In the absence of evidence or proper trial, it’s surely morally ‘right’ to withhold judgement, as difficult as that may be for those affected by the alleged crime.

 

In the case of Stallone it's unlikely he'd ever be prosecuted, although the Las Vegas PD did seem to think it was worth pressing charges. The girl was just about old enough legally for it not to be rape. She agreed to go to his hotel room when it was clear that sex might be involved. She felt pressured when the bodyguard popped out to join in but went along with it anyway.

 

This story, and others like it, is about calling out the institutionalised behaviour of men in positions of power and influence, where they have used those positions to treat those 'below' them extremely disrespectfully in a sexual way. Sometimes it's rape or breaks the law, sometimes it's just massively unprofessional and morally wrong. It's not about bringing them all to trial, it's about shining a light on this endemic behaviour.

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Mandatory counterpoint to my last post.

 

"For me it is pretty easy. Believe women."

 

"Um hang on buddy, what about in the death penalty thread? You advocate for the principle of the presumption of innocence above all else. Even when there's overwhelming evidence or social pressure that someone is guilty. What gives?"

 

"Er..."

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This is sad. There was one complaint, now there's two.

 

https://www.themarysue.com/jeffrey-tambor-latest-alleged-sexual-harasser/

 



Hearing about problematic behavior always hurts more when it affects something you love. For the past four seasons, I’ve been enjoying following the journey of the Pfefferman family on Amazon’s Transparent. I even had the pleasure of being a background actor on the show, which had what I perceived as a safe and progressive set. According to two women working on the show, it was anything but.

Jeffrey Tambor, who plays Pfefferman matriarch Maura on Transparent, has been accused of sexual harassment by two women involved with the show. It all started with Tambor’s former assistant, Van Barnes, posting a private Facebook post alleging the sexual harassment she’d repeatedly dealt with at the hands of Tambor. Deadline Hollywood then got word that Amazon was investigating the situation, which made the situation public.

I happen to have gotten to know Barnes and be Facebook friends with her, so I saw her post, and while she doesn’t name Tambor directly, it was clear about whom she was speaking, and she discusses behavior ranging from subtle comments to out-and-out propositioning and everything in between. It was disturbing, because it wasn’t something that I wanted to believe about someone I’d met who “seemed so nice.”

This is why, when those closest to those accused say “they had no idea” this was going on, my tendency is to believe them. Now, there are definitely active enablers, for sure, but this is how being a predator works. The behavior is purposely done in secret. No one wants to advertise being a predator, because that makes hunting for prey more difficult, and the preying on is the entire point. The thrill of the hunt is itself the turn-on. The behavior happens in the shadows one-on-one while these people put on a friendly face for everyone else. Predators are master manipulators. They can all “seem so nice.”

And what was Tambor’s response to hearing of Barnes’ allegations? Not only did he vehemently deny them, but he framed Barnes as a “former disgruntled assistant,” implying that the accusation was not only false, but vindictive or retaliatory.

Now, we have word that Trace Lysette, an actress on Transparent who plays the recurring role of Shea, has come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and one instance of assault in a statement that appeared in The Hollywood Reporter last night. It started with a moment that Lysette initially laughed off when Tambor saw Lysette in wardrobe and said “My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually.” Things allegedly escalated later:

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Wonder if the person behind the Weinstein allegations getting out to the public will ever be known?

If so, it'll probably be as a big of a surprise when it turned out Peter Thiel was backing Hulk Hogan's court case against Gawker Media.

 

As The Onion put it a while ago, the fate of anyone who had to deal with being assaulted by a celebrity was - 

Quote

Woman Assaulted By Celebrity Just Needs To Sit Tight For 40 Years Until Dozens More Women Corroborate Story

https://www.theonion.com/woman-assaulted-by-celebrity-just-needs-to-sit-tight-fo-1819578023

 

2 years later. it's now this -

Quote

Roy Moore On Pedophilia Accusers: ‘These Women Are Only Discrediting Me Now Because Shifting Sociocultural Norms Have Created An Environment In Which Assault Allegations Are Taken Seriously’

https://politics.theonion.com/roy-moore-on-pedophilia-accusers-these-women-are-only-1820405898

 

Better late than never.

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On 17/11/2017 at 07:30, grindmouse said:

Yeah... unquestioning belief of one party is not how any sort of justice system works.

 

I’ve been mates with a woman who talked shit about this sort of thing when she was having other personal mental health issues.

I know two people who were falsely accused in separate instances. It’s happened in high profile cases.

Not every allegation will be true. What then?

22 hours ago, Bazjam said:

Hopefully one thing to change from all this is that the system makes it easier for women to come forward and be taken seriously. However, to simplify it to "Believe women" is a dangerous route to go. We only need to look at the fallout of the Jimmy Savile case to see that many famous names had their lives and careers ruined by false accusations.

First, there is a long distance between proved guilty in a court and not having done it, that includes a large amount of people who did do it but for whom there isn't sufficient evidence to convict. A lack of prosecution or conviction does not mean "proved innocent" as that doesn't exist. They are presumed innocent on the basis of there being insufficient proof to reach the threshold of "beyond reasonable doubt", but some of those will be innocent and some of those will be guilty. Obviously, we can't make the assumption of guilt and tarnish someone's reputation without reaching this threshold. But just because there is not enough evidence to convict the perpetrator does not mean the allegation was false, or the person making it was a liar - and these are very harmful myths to perpetuate, particularly given the impact of those experiences and the likelihood that the victim was already vulnerable.

 

Second, the figures show that 97% of rape allegations are true, and that it is very very rare for there to be significant negative consequences (beyond the stress of knowing they have been accused) on a person falsely accused of rape with most false allegations being distinctive from most other reports of rape (see detail in linked article).

false-allegations-perception-and-reality

 

Quote

The perception that large numbers of allegations of rape are false is very damaging to women, and to survivors of rape in particular. It reinforces prejudicial attitudes to complainers – for whom the barriers to justice are already considerable, with women already scrutinized and judged on many irrelevant factors (dress, flirting, alcohol consumption etc) – even when an allegation is taken seriously. It is the evidence, not the complainer, which must be tested and examined. But popular myths that women cannot be trusted perpetuate a relentless focus on their motives, sexual history, demeanour, credibility and behaviour, leaving perpetrators able to remain unchallenged by comparison, in relative obscurity. In some cases, this has allowed serial offenders to act with total impunity and continue attacking women, sometimes for many years, as a result of doubt being cast on the words of their victims.

So why doubt those making allegations, and give the benefit of the doubt to those against whom allegations are made as your default position? That seems pretty sexist and pretty worrying to me, as there is already enormous bias in this direction, with barriers to reporting, investigating, prosecuting and convicting that mean less than 1% of perpetrators of sexual crimes face justice. Based on the evidence, the most logical approach is to believe allegations, unless they give specific cause for scepticism, as 97% of them will be true.

 

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42 minutes ago, NoVisAnima said:

Why are you worried about the stress of being accused of rape as opposed to the stress of being raped?

Because he's a man, and therefore identifies with the male position, which is much less likely to be a victim and much more likely to be a perpetrator or subject to an allegation. So he's invested in maintaining the status quo where men are protected from evil vindictive women who make false allegations (even though this is exceptionally rare) rather than women being protected from being raped or sexually assaulted, and worse still being disbelieved when reporting this had happened (even though this is far too fucking common).

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17 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

Why bother with a justice system when 97% of allegations of any crime are true? Let’s have trial by social media and bring back capital punishment, while we’re at it.

That's a delightful straw man you've built there. Because, of course, I've said nothing of the kind.

 

If I said that I'd been burgled or mugged and gave a description of who did it, I very much doubt that anyone would be talking about my history or presentation suggesting I was asking for it, or a liar, or giving the benefit of the doubt to the person who did it (even by the public if the story made the paper, or by friends of the accused if they were arrested). Yet if it was a sexual crime, that's exactly what would happen. Interestingly, statistically, many more robberies are reported and investigated, and there is no shame or stigma associated with being a victim of this kind of crime and yet there is a similar or higher incidence of false reporting or exaggeration.

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24 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

Why bother with a justice system when 97% of allegations of any crime are true? Let’s have trial by social media, and bring back capital punishment while we’re at it. Miscarriages of justice are so insignificant - why would you care about the people being hanged rather than the victims - fucking odd, isn’t it?

Haha, showing your true colours now. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Stanley said:

No your true colours of always supporting the accused, not the victim.

But only in sexual crimes, where the victims are disproportionately women and children.

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I find the whole 'who do we need to protect when there an unproved accusation?' discussion an interesting one.


At a surface level I can understand the notion of siding with the accused - after all, if there is no conclusive evidence and the ramifications of being accused are so big, well, you can't put the genie back in the bottle, as it were.


However this is a simplistic view. If we break it down, it comes down to this: Should we discuss, highlight and make decisions on things that are likely to be true, but we don't know for certain whether they are true.


Yes we can, and yes we should. We must remember that pretty much nothing is 100% certain. 


We don't know with 100% certainty whether those rain dances work or not, but we don't invest money in them over scientific meteorological research, because we know from experience that it probably doesn't work. It's unknowable whether there will be anyone going into a store with an intension to shoplift, yet we set up CCTV because we know from experience it will probably happen. 


We make decisions based on the unknowable all the time. It's how we make life work. We look at likelihood of something happening and past experiences of it happening , and we make decisions. 


So, as we have no good reason to disbelieve the accusers, why should we try to keep them quiet? We should make our rules and norms based on the 97%, not the 3%. Will there be a very occasional miscarriage of justice? Yes. But to hold back the 97%, as they have been held back in the past and continue to be held back because of the threat of legal action or public shaming, just doesn't make sense. 

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