Don’t let Hollywood moguls abuse power

By Richard Chachowski

Female artists and entertainers deserve to be afforded the same respect as men when building their careers. Prominent men in the entertainment industry, such as Harvey Weinstein, tear this right away from women.

Weinstein, the famed Hollywood producer of successful films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “Good Will Hunting,” received a great deal of negative publicity last week, following a continuous stream of sexual harassment and assault allegations.

Weinstein is accused of sexually harassing young entertainers. (AP Photo)

Weinstein has been the center of attention in the filmmaking industry, with many female celebrities, including Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, among others, coming forward to reveal Weinstein’s behavior with numerous actresses behind closed doors, according to Entertainment Weekly.

It’s alleged that Weinstein would often abuse his position as the head of his leading production companies, Miramax and the Weinstein Company, by meeting with young, ambitious actresses who hoped to break into the Hollywood industry. The accusers say Weinstein would often act charming at first, appearing genuinely sympathetic to the young women, in order to lure them back into private areas, often hotel rooms or suites.

Once alone with them, it’s alleged that Weinstein would then attempt to make sexual advances toward the women, which were often denied. Weinstein allegedly would promise the women starring roles in the films he was producing if they accepted his advances.

Though these allegations have only recently come to light, Weinstein’s many of these accusations say they have been going on for some time. Numerous female actresses who have had some sort of sexual encounter with Weinstein, which was covered up by Weinstein to avoid media attention, have come forward to speak against Weinstein’s actions. Approximately 43 well-known and prominent Hollywood actresses have come forward to discuss their own encounters with Weinstein, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Hollywood has always been a hard industry for people to break into, especially those pursuing an acting career. Though many people move to Hollywood with hopes of landing a role to propel them to stardom, often only a prestigious few are lucky enough to receive their big break. It takes skill, luck and persistence, among many other factors, to succeed in Hollywood. The presence of people like Harvey Weinstein makes the entertainment industry so much harder for people, especially women, to thrive.

Weinstein’s alleged behavior may have been the norm in the filmmaking industry a long time ago, but in 2017, a case like this is unacceptable. It does not matter if you are a Hollywood mogul, an office manager, a corporate executive or if you hold any form of authority over others, abusing your power to exploit others is a gross and inexcusable. Weinstein did not only act indecent by manipulating the dreams and ambitions of young women for personal gain, but also acted inhumane by objectifying their bodies.

The filmmaking industry, or any industry for that matter, should not continue to let people abuse their power. Careers should be built on mutual respect for one another’s talent and skill, regardless of their gender. Executives like this hold no place in the entertainment business, or any business at all. Weinstein’s behavior should not have been tolerated decades ago, and it certainly should not be tolerated now.

Entertainment moguls must use their power responsibly. They need to cease using the entertainment industry as a way to exploit young women who are ambitious and crave the spotlight.

Popularity, wealth and power should not protect or enable these Hollywood executives to continue using their influence to manipulate women and cover up sexual harassment scandals. Everyone, regardless of their gender, has the right to pursue their dreams. Removing men like that from power, who purposely target those dreams and exploit them for personal benefit, is not only a service to the entertainment industry, but to society as a whole.