Hollywood remains unable to condemn sexual assault

By Cameron Bocanegra | Reporter

In a world of media that caters and coos over silver screen idols, all press is good press. A decision has been made repeatedly over decades. We have decided that a seamless film overflowing with positive reviews about another performance for the ages is more important than an assault report; a report that claims an immoral man we think we know and surely love made sexual advances and does not know how to be rejected.

For the better of the Academy and for the better of our personal entertainment, famous actors are excused from responsibility regularly.

When you hear the name Woody Allen, it sounds timeless and legendary. What an everlasting memory he must be to his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, who testified that Allen molested her in 1992, but saw Allen win the case without custody or criminal charges. The year after, he directed “Manhattan Murder Mystery,” which was nominated in the 51st Golden Globe Awards, and debuted his return as the beloved celebrity that never did anything wrong for the next 20 years and on.

Roman Polanski, another beloved director, admitted to drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977, and fled to Paris. Just two years later in Europe, he released the French film “Tess” (1979) which received several international awards along with three Oscars from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), an American organization that used the loophole of foreign residency to so generously award a rapist’s film. Since then, the AMPAS also recognized his film “The Pianist” (2002) with three Academy Awards, including Best Director for Polanski.

Seven years ago, two women who worked with Casey Affleck in his film “I’m Still Here” (2010) filed sexual harassment reports against him and settled the claims out of court. Only recently has this scandal been addressed after our rugged star won an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice Movie Award and an AACTA International Award for his film “Manchester by the Sea” (2016).

What excuses the assaults and allows these men to continue their careers being glorified in the limelight? Even actors on a smaller scale are welcomed back into the film industry with open arms.

Retired boxer Mike Tyson was convicted of a rape charge in 1992, served three years in prison for the crime, got an insensitive tribal face tattoo and broke the box office in the film series “The Hangover” (2009) and “The Hangover Part II” (2011). Instead of his career being buried in the ’90s forever, he was cast as sweet, clueless comic relief. A rapist that did not earn $400 million in the ring would have a ruined life after being convicted, but celebrities like Tyson are separated from their sexual assaults.

Every victim has an assailant and in some terrible cases, they have to see their attacker constantly plastered across the media, movies, tabloids and T-shirts. The glamorous craft of American cinematography proves to also be an art of masking assailants and handing them an award-winning script. Who needs to reference a casting name list when you can flip through People magazine and pick out a rapist who can still woo an audience on a global scale?

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