Men whose careers were ruined by assault and harassment allegations: A short collection
Just a reminder that we saw Rihanna’s bruised face and people still buy Chris Brown’s music lol
If you don’t count the obvious Moonlight La La Land fuck-up, the biggest controversy to come out of Sunday night’s Oscars was Casey Affleck’s Best Actor win for his role in Manchester by the Sea.
Thousands of tweets and online thinkpieces were written on Brie Larson’s less than amused expression when she presented Affleck with his author, and the lowkey ways she and other women showed their disdain for his win (sexual assault victims advocate Larson refused to applaud him, Chrissy Teigan “slept” on husband John Legend’s shoulder throughout his speech), which came in the wake of controversial harassment allegations.
It’s important to remember that Casey Affleck hasn’t been accused of assault, that he hasn’t been convicted of anything (his lawsuits were settled out of court). But for many people his win on Sunday – and earlier in the year at the Golden Globes – highlighted something else: despite the age old myth that’s used to shame women against speaking out, sexual harassment and assault allegations do not ruin a man’s career.
An article in The Huffington Post yesterday writes: “Affleck’s win was not surprising, but it affirmed what most women in America already know: For white men, allegations of harassment, assault or abuse will not necessarily derail a career ― or even temporarily set it off course. The win is also indicative of a larger pattern, both within Hollywood and the country writ large. Being white and male can be a powerful shield against failure, even in the face of evidence that perhaps a given honor is not deserved. And as actress Constance Wu pointed out in January after calling Affleck out, it is often those who speak out about alleged abusers that face a fear of repercussions as a result.”
Criticising Affleck’s win doesn’t mean you think his performance in Manchester by the Sea wasn’t deserving of an Oscar. It does however prove that with privilege comes a teflon coating, an excuse to do what you like and go on to great things despite of any controversies or allegations made against you. It’s not just Casey Affleck either. If you find that hard to believe, here’s an abridged list:
More than a dozen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual assault and many are in the processes of pursuing lawsuits against him. He was also filmed making comments about “grabbing women by the pussy”. In response to his vile treatment of women America promptly elected him President of the United States. Sure.
Allen was accused of sexual abuse by his ex-wife Mia Farrow against their daughter, Dylan, in the early 90s. In 2014 Dylan, now an adult, released a letter where she alleged that Allen had treated her in a way that made her physically uncomfortable “for as long as she could remember”, citing occasions when he got in bed with her in his underwear. While not a sexual abuse or assault allegation Allen also began a relationship with his adopted daughter Soon-Yi and left his wife for her.
Since then, he’s been nominated for 10 Oscars, and won one in 2012 for Best Original Screenplay for Midnight in Paris. Congratulations Woody Allen!
In 1977 Roman Polanski was arrested and charged with five offenses – rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under 14, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor – against Samantha Gailey, who was a 13-year-old child at the time. In a plea bargain, Polanski pled guilty to the lesser charge of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse, but hours before he was due to be sentenced he ran away to France! Hee hee, what a scamp!
He’s lived outside of the United States ever since but there was a petition in 2009 signed by actors and directors including Woody Allen (shock) to let him back into the country. Roman Polanski has won an Oscar (Best Director, The Pianist), a Golden Globe and three BAFTA’s, among many others. What a talented guy!
In 2009 Chris Brown beat Rihanna so badly photos of her bruised face shocked the internet, and she was forced to take out a restraining order against him. Afterwards, Chris Brown said he “thought they could always be friends” and didn’t think the domestic violence charge meant his career was over (why would he). In August last year police were called to a stand-off after a woman reported that Chris Brown was threatening her with a gun. Chris Brown was sentenced to five years probation for domestic abuse.
Last year Chris Brown released his eighth studio album and is currently on a world tour!
In 2003 an employee of a hotel where Bryant was staying accused him of raping her. The case was settled out of court and he issued a public apology, in which he said: “First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure. I also want to apologize to her parents and family members, and to my family and friends and supporters, and to the citizens of Eagle, Colo.
“I also want to make it clear that I do not question the motives of this young woman. No money has been paid to this woman. She has agreed that this statement will not be used against me in the civil case. Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did. After months of reviewing discovery, listening to her attorney, and even her testimony in person, I now understand how she feels that she did not consent to this encounter.”
Kobe Bryant has won two Olympic gold medals since 2003 and enjoyed a 20 year career with the LA Lakers.
In 1993 a woman accused Tupac and his entourage of raping her. He was sentenced to serve between 18 months and four and a half years in prison for first degree sexual assault, the judge called the case “an act of brutal violence against a helpless woman.” By the time he was shot in 1996, he was still pretty famous.
Mike Tyson was arrested in 1991 for raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington, Miss Black Rhode Island, in a hotel room. He was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison and four on probation. He got out after three years, went on to an amazing boxing career and in 2009 won a Golden Globe for his role in The Hangover.
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