The Celebrity Treatment: Sexual harassment in Hollywood


Cassandra Jaskiewicz, Instagram Manager

Sexual harassment is a major problem for people in every industry. The most recent case is Harvey Weinstein. Audiences and fans may know him as the famous Hollywood film executive who helped produce movies such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The English Patient.” However, recently he has become known for the many sexual assault allegations that have resurfaced, starting with Ashley Judd’s story. Originally revealed in a Variety article earlier this month, it ultimately unleashed a flood of similar stories from many other actresses.

Actresses like Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne and, most recently, Lupita Nyong’o, have all stepped forward with stories of Weinstein’s abuse. This incident has a lot of people shocked and dismayed. It sparked the hashtag #Metoo on Twitter, which was launched more than 10 years ago by Tarana Burke and popularized by Rose McGowan. Countless women are coming forward and sharing similar experiences, inciting a closer examination of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. Students at the University of New Orleans had lot of opinions on this topic.

“I don’t know how it will be stopped. Definitely [by] having people talk about it more. ‘Cause once that person’s name gets out, the chances of him or her manipulating others for sexual favors would be limited,” said junior Neka Meridy, an english major. “[However], it’s show business.”

“I feel that it is a complete and total outrage because it is disgusting, not for just him as a person, but for men in general,” senior Bridget Brelet said. “It just makes them look worse than how society has [already] made them look.”

Public opinion seems to oscillate wildly between shaming the victims and pointing fingers at people around them.

“I think it’s just one blip on the radar,” junior Symone Joseph said. “Sexual harassment has been an ongoing thing in Hollywood, and many people are scared to come forward in fear of hurting their careers. They use that against them as a way to keep abusing them.”

It’s hard not to see the validity of such a statement. Weinstein is not the first to be accused. Casey Affleck also faced sexual assault allegations, but still went on to win an award. Woody Allen, another famous writer, director and actor, has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault and is currently working in the film industry. Bill O’Reilly had his contract renewed with Fox News, despite his sexual assault allegations as well.

It’s hard to see an easy answer to such a difficult problem, with so many examples of sexual harassment resulting in no change to the system. However, with Weinstein being fired and many board members from his company being fired, only time will tell.