Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault accusations allows for silence to be broken

Harvey Weinstein, former co-chairman of the Weinstein Company, was fired from his position, as well as being expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Oct. 8, 2017. This was following a series of accusations from women claiming that Weinstein had sexually assaulted or raped them. These harsh accusations have lead to a staining of his reputation, including a separation from his wife and denouncement from political and industry figures that once supported him.

It’s not just random women accusing Weinstein either. Many of Hollywood’s biggest stars have come out with their own stories of Weinstein, commenting on his erratic behavior and sexual assault history. Notable examples include Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, and Cara Delevigne.

This is not the first time that Weinstein has been accused of this, but it’s the first time it has lead to any legal action. Accusations of Weinstein’s sexual abuse have been active for decades, but very few were quick to confront or speak out. Allegations even point to him paying off victims so they don’t tell anybody. Audio recordings have also come out showing his sexual assault history, some of which showcase his actual sexual assault, and others where he fully admits to it.

Now there have been times where people have been accused of sexual assault and the claims were not only untrue, but used to discredit the person that have not done those actions. However, there is undeniable evidence that he has been committing sexual acts on women without consent. Stripping him of his company and achievements was the best way to shut down somebody who has had a proven criminal record. The fact that he has gotten away with this for decades with several people knowing, and yet people were afraid to report on him or were blackmailed into remaining silent is a sickening aspect the Hollywood lifestyle that must be examined and eliminated.

I do think that there should be more severe legal action towards Weinstein. So far, despite the numerous accusations, there hasn’t been any major legal action taken against him. He hasn’t had a set date for a court case and his fate at the moment is uncertain. Despite feeling that Weinstein was undeniably involved with sexual assault, there should be a greater effort from the law to find evidence against, or even supporting him, and finding a reasonable punishment for Harvey Weinstein. This is a common practice for those in the celebrity field, as even if a person is obviously guilty, they manage to escape severe punishment from the law based on good lawyers or their own celebrity status. This kind of practice creates an unfair advantage for celebrity figures and should not be involved with our justice system.

But the news has not all been dower. In fact, this call for action has lead to a growing number of women to become more open about their history with sexual assault. After Weinstein’s accusations became public, several women started a twitter hashtag known as “#MeToo.” The movement involves women telling stories about sexual abuse they have endured, some of which spanning several years in their lives and never being public until now. This creates an empowering environment for those who have dealt with this kind of abuse and encourages people to be more vocal about sexual assault in the future.

As we strive for our community to grow a greater voice and to not be silent about injustice, accusations of assault when it’s warranted has slowly brought us together. Speaking out against those who harass and harm others is the best step for equality and putting these dreadful human beings in their place. Harvey Weinstein, while his punishment shouldn’t be considered over, deserved to be exposed for the wrongs he committed and shouldn’t be forgiven for the lies and disrespect he has put upon several women. Us as a community will not stand for this oppression and will continue to have our voices heard.