Even though we would like to think it’s just Hollywood being subjected to workplace rape and sexual interference, it can be honestly said it is not. Workplace rape and harassment happen in all places from small towns to big monopolies. In most women’s lives, they will run into a situation where a man will try to manipulate a woman into performing some form of sexual act or are so male chauvinistic that they look upon a woman as weak and inept to perform at the same level as a man at their job. Unfortunately, gender equality is still in its infancy stage and has a long way to go with many improvements to be made along the way.
It is not really a secret that Hollywood has had a problem with rape and workplace sexual violence, we just did not want to face it or admit it. In the 70s, many young girls who sought fame and fortune knew the place to be was in California and the best chance to be discovered was to head to studio 54 and the sunset strip. These innocent young girls had no idea they were walking into a lion’s den full of sleazy wannabe talent scouts just looking for the right naivety to pounce. Showing them the exciting life of drugs, alcohol, and parties, while doing a few headshots, and filling their heads full of promises of fame.. Very few made it to real Hollywood, some made it to porn fame, but most ended up used, raped and discarded. Because of the bias in the general public, many of these young women had to live with the shame in silence and ended up in prostitution, committing suicide, or joining cults.
Politicians, police, and the populations just turned a blind eye and pretended that a place that could bring them such marvelous escapes from reality in forms of television and big screen movies couldn’t be all bad. Women who tried to come forth and report what was going on were belittled, made to feel it was their fault and those who actually made it passed the bureaucracy were revictimized on the stand. Seeing the humiliation and publicly shamed into remission by the courts, thousands of cases went unreported. For the next 25 to 30 years, the Hollywood elites were forced into keeping this dirty little secret in order to continue “living the dream” allowing the lowlifes to gain more and more power and continue to victimize more and more women.
Now in a time of full disclosure and the safety net of the information highway, the dirty little secrets are erupting like an extinct level volcano. Women and men finally feel they can report the horrors they have had to endure and something will finally be done. The victims can finally strip the power away from these monsters who thought that they could continue on with the atrocities and not pay the piper. Shame on those who closed a blind eye and did nothing. Those coming forth are the real Hollywood heroes for finally cleaning out the garbage from the “land of dreams” and making it the place where you can really reach out and touch the stars. Because of your courage and strength, we may be able to shout “HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD” once again.
* K. Waters
Writer, Blogger, Mother