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Hollywood and Politics Have Been Uncovered, but What About Everybody Else?

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Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live also addressed Al Franken, a current senator and former fellow SNL cast member, who has joined the mass of men accused of gross sexual behavior. He opened the most recent Thanksgiving episode saying “There’s so much to be thankful for this year, unless you’re a human woman.” Jost continued his segment, the weekend Update, by continuing commentary as this picture flashed on the screen. “Sure, this photo was taken before Franken ran for office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school,” Jost joked. “It’s hard to be like, ‘Come on, he didn’t know any better, he was only 55.’ (Photo courtesy of Saturday Night Live, NBC)

Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live also addressed Al Franken, a current senator and former fellow SNL cast member, who has joined the mass of men accused of gross sexual behavior. He opened the most recent Thanksgiving episode saying “There’s so much to be thankful for this year, unless you’re a human woman.” Jost continued his segment, the weekend Update, by continuing commentary as this picture flashed on the screen. “Sure, this photo was taken before Franken ran for office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school,” Jost joked. “It’s hard to be like, ‘Come on, he didn’t know any better, he was only 55.’ (Photo courtesy of Saturday Night Live, NBC)

Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live also addressed Al Franken, a current senator and former fellow SNL cast member, who has joined the mass of men accused of gross sexual behavior. He opened the most recent Thanksgiving episode saying “There’s so much to be thankful for this year, unless you’re a human woman.” Jost continued his segment, the weekend Update, by continuing commentary as this picture flashed on the screen. “Sure, this photo was taken before Franken ran for office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school,” Jost joked. “It’s hard to be like, ‘Come on, he didn’t know any better, he was only 55.’ (Photo courtesy of Saturday Night Live, NBC)

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Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live also addressed Al Franken, a current senator and former fellow SNL cast member, who has joined the mass of men accused of gross sexual behavior. He opened the most recent Thanksgiving episode saying “There’s so much to be thankful for this year, unless you’re a human woman.” Jost continued his segment, the weekend Update, by continuing commentary as this picture flashed on the screen. “Sure, this photo was taken before Franken ran for office, but it was also taken after he was a sophomore in high school,” Jost joked. “It’s hard to be like, ‘Come on, he didn’t know any better, he was only 55.’ (Photo courtesy of Saturday Night Live, NBC)

It all started with Harvey Weinstein, but where does it end? On November 9, Time magazine published a list of 60 male public figures that have been accused of ‘sexual misconduct’ since Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein got the ball rolling with a New York Times expose detailing sexual assault charges against him that hit newsstands in early October. The rising stack of names moved first from Weinstein into the rest of Hollywood, reaching actors like Kevin Spacey and comedians such as Louis C.K.

But the allegations didn’t stop there. No, then they moved into politics, hitting senators like Al Franken and senate candidate Roy Moore. Even the former President George H.W. Bush could not escape the floodgate of women who have bravely come forward following the downfall of Weinstein. The allegations have since expanded also into sports and every other realm of fame.

But, rape culture is nothing new. I remember reading news stories directly after Weinstein that raved about uncovering the dark underbelly of Hollywood, but the thing is that producers and actors had been abusing young women for decades; it was just that no one was talking about it. I am very proud that we have reached a point in our society where women feel like they can come forward confidently to secure justice for the sexual misdeeds done to them, but this point should have been reached sooner.

Even with swarms of women now sharing their stories, we still have a long way to go. Some of these powerful men have “apologized” for the allegations raised against them, but they aren’t real apologies. Louie C.K. was one of the first men to acknowledge the claims that he had masturbated unwantingly in front of multiple women, but his apology never included the words “I’m sorry,” and there was never a direct name address to any of the women who have come forward; instead he used the universal “them.”  The closest C.K. came to a genuine apology was saying things like “I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them,” but even this address is still centered on him and how he’s going to change.

Others, like Roy Moore, have even farther to go than C.K. Moore flat out denied the stories that surfaced about him conducting relationships with sixteen-year-old girls. President Trump didn’t make matters any better by backing Moore, a Republican, yet holding nothing back for Al Franken, a Democrat. In my opinion, rape and sexual harassment have no reason to take political sides. I would like to note thought that the rest of the GOP has been urging Moore to abandon his campaign to avoid more bad press that they have already experienced from controversies surrounding President Trump. Franken, however, can’t be much better than Moore. He may have acknowledged the evidence against him, in particular a picture of him groping a sleeping Leeann Tweeden on a military plane, but he still tried to redirect blame in his initial apology saying that he didn’t “remember these photographs,” and that this was “not something I would intentionally do.”

Even the way the media has treated this whole scandal has been clinicalized by using the term “sexual misconduct” in headlines pinned with a picture of another white man, instead of sharing the stories for what they are: gross misuse of power by men in the form of sex ranging from groping and masturbation to rape. The media may have ravaged the white males of Hollywood and Politics, but the Weinstein effect has yet to affect the men living average lives. The truth is that men have been getting away with raping women and probably will continue to for sometime, unless they are famous. Just last year Stanford University’s Brock Turner only received a six-month jail sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. He may have been given a jail sentence, but six months is less than the one-year sentence a person can get for possessing marijuana. Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live hit the nail on the head when he deadpanned on the November 11 episode in his segment the weekend update saying “It’s a good weekend to stay inside since it’s 20 degrees out, and everyone you’ve ever heard of is a sex monster.” We may have touched the tip of the iceberg, but we have a long way to go.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Hollywood and Politics Have Been Uncovered, but What About Everybody Else?”

  1. Annie Fortune on December 14th, 2017 9:53 am

    SNL and the Weekend Update have been the center of the news and is one way some people hear about stuff that’s happening. I think that using what they say is a good way to really show what is happening and say that we can talk about it and we need to talk about it. Sexual harassment has been viewed as something to be hushed and slowly, our society is seeing that it happens way too often than it should.

  2. Victoria Wells on January 19th, 2018 1:49 pm

    I have a lot of respect for the victims of sexual harassment, it takes a lot of courage especially when the portrayer is in a position of power. People that say things like “why are they all coming out now?” sound arrogant and need to put themselves in other’s shoes. The media covering these incidents is a step in the right direction.

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