When the Harvey Weinstein scandal first hit newsstands it looked like his exposure as a career creeper would be one of the biggest entertainment news stories of the year, and possibly the decade. And while his extraordinarily dickish and often criminal behavior is certainly a major and horrifying revelation, it also seems like it’s just the first thunder clap in what is turning out to be a hurricane of awful and illegal behavior that the entertainment business has been covering up for decades.
The torrent of accusations and exposures hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down yet, and it seems like every other day there is a Hollywood major player being outed as an abuser or generally terrible person. The news cycle is moving so fast and these creepers are being outed so quickly that it’s honestly becoming a little difficult to keep track of who has done what to who and who’s getting fired or even blackballed from the industry each day. But out of this bevy of scandals, which ones are really the worst of the worst? Who are the heaviest hitters that have been up to no good behind closed doors, and who are the worst Hollywood scum bags whose names you’ve never heard before? And most importantly, what are the people in the entertainment industry doing to fix this problem, and what were they doing before to cover up for these predators?
16. Kevin Spacey Is A Major Creep
The rumors of Kevin Spacey‘s inappropriate behavior have been swirling for literally decades, but after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp came forward and shared his experience with Spacey, finally putting a face and legitimate voice behind all of those rumors. Rapp claimed that Spacey had invited him to a party when Rapp was only 14 years old and Spacey was in his mid-20’s, and that towards the end of the night, Spacey made overt s*xual advances on him, at one point laying down in bed on top of him before Rapp put an end to the encounter. When Anthony came forward with his story Kevin immediately issued a tepid apology and came out as gay, and quite a few people speculated that he was trying to use the gay announcement as a distraction from the assault allegations. But ultimately it made no difference because after Rapp made his confession, dozens of other accusers came out of the woodwork.
15. And Now Hollywood Is Erasing Spacey Off Of Their Map
Much like with Harvey Weinstein, the reaction to the accusations against Kevin Spacey have come incredibly swiftly in the entertainment industry. When the accusations first started trickling out, Netflix put Spacey’s show House of Cards on an indefinite hold, presumably to plan out how to handle the scandal and their intricate professional relationship with Spacey. But as more of Spacey’s victims started sharing their stories Netflix decided to take a harder stance on the situation, immediately firing Spacey from House of Cards and pulling a Gore Vidal biopic starring Spacey that had already been filmed.
But then in a real first for Hollywood, famed director Ridley Scott decided to edit Spacey out of his film that was due for release in six weeks. Scott hired Christopher Plummer to play the character that Spacey initially played and planned on rushing through the reshoots so as to keep the film as on schedule as possible. It’s really an unprecedented move but seems like a great sign for the entertainment industry. It’s a move that makes it clear that abusers are replaceable and that projects don’t have to be completely derailed because of them.
14. Steven Seagal Used Auditions To Prey On Women
I know it’s difficult to look at a face like Steven Seagal‘s and imagine that a man like that could be a creeper, but in the past few days, quite a few women have come out and claimed otherwise. Some pretty high profile actresses have accused Seagal of s*xual harassment and inappropriate behavior already, including Portia de Rossi, Jenny McCarthy, Julianna Margulies and CSI: Miami star Eva La Rue have all said that Seagal harassed them when they were younger and not nearly as well known, and some other lesser known women have said the same. Apparently Seagal had a pretty specific method of operation and definitely used his position of power to try to manipulate women into extremely uncomfortable situations. His typical ruse seems to be cornering actresses during auditions or arranging for “private auditions,” and either asking the women to do something inappropriate or just doing something inappropriate himself (both de Rossi and La Rue said that Seagal exposed himself to them, while McCarthy said that he asked her to strip in the audition despite the fact that the role didn’t require nudity).
13. Director Brett Ratner Has Been Accused Of Assaulting Women
Brett Ratner‘s first claim to fame as a director was the Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker action trilogy Rush Hour, and since the first instalment of the trilogy was released, Ratner has been riding a pretty good high in his directing and producing career. But Ratner has come under some serious fire during the avalanche of s*xual harassment and assault allegations that have been coming out since the Harvey Weinstein scandal first broke, and he has some pretty horrific accusations levelled against him from some pretty credible accusers. Ellen Page recently said that when she was working on X-Men: The Last Stand with Ratner, he outed Page as gay and said something very inappropriate to her at a meet and greet with the cast and crew. Olivia Munn said that when she was working as a production assistant she delivered a meal to Ratner’s trailer. She didn’t expect him to be inside, but he was, and he was touching himself inappropriately in front of her. And Natasha Henstridge came out with what was probably the most horrific statement, which was that Ratner forced her into intimate acts when she was younger.
12. Mel Gibson Is Getting A Comeback
In a particular bit of awkward timing (although I don’t know if there’s a not awkward time to be giving a racist, s*xist jerk their big screen comeback) in the midst of all of these abusers of the entertainment industry being outed and shunned, Mel Gibson, one of the original nut jobs to be shunned for his awful behavior, is returning to the big screen in a major Christmas release. Gibson apparently nabbed one of the supporting roles in the Will Ferrell comedy Daddy’s Home 2, which is an astonishingly big name and “family-friendly” project to hire someone with Mel’s unique combo of prejudices, substance abuse problems, and anger issues. Gibson has already had a bit of a welcome back to Hollywood with his Academy Award nomination for best direction for 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge, but it’s a bit of a shock to see him put so front and center in mainstream work with nary a mention of his previous craziness.
11. Harvey Weinstein Employed Former Israeli Spies To Cover His Crimes
Harvey Weinstein spent years of his life using and abusing his “underlings” in pretty much every way you can imagine, and his bad behavior often veered from being immoral to illegal. It was a bit of a mystery as to how exactly Weinstein avoided being punished or even outed for his crimes for so long, but as it turns out he had quite a complex system set up to enable his abuse. The Weinstein Company actually had clauses in Harvey’s contract related to any s*xual harassment or assault claims that might come up. Harvey had employees within the company who apparently both worked to cover his misdeeds and to “provide” him with women to assault, and he essentially had a team of outside experts working to resolve any of his issues as quickly and quietly as possible. This of course included a team of lawyers, but Harvey even hired a private intelligence firm founded by former Mossad agents called Black Cube to investigate women he had assaulted who were trying to speak out.
10. The Director Of The Jeepers Creepers Franchise Is A Convicted Offender
Victor Salva isn’t a name that most movie watchers will be familiar with, but some of his work might be familiar to you. The horror franchise Jeepers Creepers (which just had a new instalment released recently) is probably his best known work, and he’s been making theatrical features on and off since the mid 90s. But while he’s not exactly a big name director in Hollywood, his continuing career is a pretty baffling one. After directing his first feature film Clownhouse, Salva was arrested for assaulting the film’s 12-year-old star and videotaping the encounters.
When the investigation into the claims began the police also found inappropriate child content, and Salva was sentenced to three years for his crimes. Salva had a seven-year gap between Clownhouse and his next film, but Salva has been working on and off for the past 30 years despite being a convicted s*x offender (and ironically his “off” periods are usually caused by his scandal being reported on once again, but after a few years the public awareness seems to fade and he has a comeback).
9. High Profile Hollywood Ladies Are Trying To End The “Boys Club”
A lot of people outside of the entertainment industry are looking at this explosion of harassment accusations and wondering how in the world something like this could actually happen, or how it could have gone on for as long as it has. And that’s a fair question to ask. However, if you listen to what most women in the entertainment industry have to say about the situation, it seems like this has been allowed to happen simply because it’s the way things have always been. Many people in power use that power to abuse others, and because the entertainment industry is dominated by men, the culture of the industry has allowed this kind of behavior to take place, and in some cases has actually gone out of its way to ensure this behavior can continue. But it seems like a lot of powerful ladies in Hollywood have had enough and are intent on taking some power for themselves. For example, Gal Gadot has publicly stated that if previously mentioned creeper Brett Ratner isn’t dumped from the next Wonder Woman, then she won’t do the film.
8. Director James Toback Has Been Accused Of Harassing Over 200 Women
Even if you consider yourself a film fan, James Toback is a name that might not sound very familiar to you. I mean, up until about a month ago, Toback’s biggest claim to fame was probably the early 90s Bugsy Siegel biopic Bugsy. But despite Toback’s lackluster resume he’s a director who might just wind up going down in the Hollywood history books, because he’s been accused of s*xual harassment and assault by over 300 women at this point (at least according to Glenn Whipp, the LA Times reporter who initially broke the story). Toback’s defence is that it would be “biologically impossible” for him to have done this because he’s been suffering from impotency problems for decades. However, it’s a mystery as to how exactly that would prevent him from harassing anyone ever, and it seems like a bit of a stretch to imagine that more than 300 people just randomly decided to make up the same accusation against a director nobody has actually heard of.
7. Nickelodeon Has Employed At Least Two Accused Abusers
I know that when it comes to protecting talent or creating a safe and comfortable work environment, Hollywood doesn’t exactly have a great reputation, and with good reason. History is littered with people who worked in the entertainment industry who were mistreated and abused by the people in power, and since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke there has been a flood of stories backing up this bad reputation. But I think most normal people would expect that at the very least the people who are working with kids, the most vulnerable of groups, would try to do better. But at least in the case of kid’s TV network Nickelodeon, that is an unfortunately incorrect assumption. One of their executives named Chris Savino has already been fired because of s*xual harassment allegations (from adults), and one of their longterm execs named Dan Schneider has been a rumored predator for decades now (some of the most horrific rumors surrounding Schneider was that he abused former child stars Amanda Bynes and Jamie Lynn Spears, and multiple kids have said that Schneider has a foot fetish).
6. Charlie Sheen Was Accused Of Assaulting Corey Haim On The Set Of Lucas
The 80s teen star legends commonly known as “the two Coreys” (Corey Feldman and Corey Haim) have been pretty open about the abuses they suffered as child stars for a very long time. Haim sadly passed away in 2010 after a long battle with drug addiction and his own personal demons, but Corey Feldman has still been working to expose the child abuse ring he has been trying to publicly bring down for years since his friend’s untimely death. And while Feldman hasn’t commented on the allegations that Charlie Sheen assaulted Corey Haim on the set of their film Lucas, actor Dominick Brascia came forward and said that Haim had told him about the assault, and apparently other sources who chose not to be named have accused Sheen of other misconduct. Sheen unsurprisingly denied the allegations, and unfortunately the only other person who could definitively answer the question either way is no longer with us.
5. Jeremy Piven Was Accused Of Harassment, And It’s Not His First Time
Jeremy Piven has strongly denied the allegations of s*xual harassment and assault that have been made against him and has characterized the situation as a bunch of women making up lies about his behavior to take him down for some mysterious reason. However, Piven is another one of those people who’s bad behavior has been an “open secret” for a very long time. The assaults his victims describe are disturbing, and some high profile actresses have come forward with allegations of bad behavior against Piven. Longmire and Smallville star Cassidy Freeman did not specify what her encounter with Piven entailed, but posted on her Twitter that he did and tried to do very inappropriate things to her when she was young, and Will and Grace star Debra Messing actually said that Piven was her least favorite guest star on the show during an episode of Watch What Happens Live! because he was being very s*xually aggressive towards her during the filming of their romantic scenes together.
4. The Industry Is Cleaning House
Aside from the sheer volume of accusations that have been coming to light in the past few weeks, one of the most surprising aspects of this scandal is that something is actually being done about it. It’s somewhat rare to see someone in the entertainment industry go through a scandal that actually has a severe effect on their ability to work, and it’s exceptionally rare to see many people experience serious detriment from their exposure. But now it seems like every other day there is a new story about a producer, actor, or executive who has been exposed for inappropriate behavior, and that story is shortly followed by an announcement that this person has been suspended or fired from their current projects. It might seem extreme, but it really has been a long time coming, and it’s shameful that any industry would allow their community to foster a culture of abuse like this or allow it to exist for as long as it has.
3. And Cleaning House Might Cost Them Millions
While the fact that this nonsense has been going on in the entertainment industry for decades is horrifying, the most common and obvious excuse for it is that it’s a business, and many people within that business didn’t really care what was going on so long as they were still making money. And therefore, abusers who were also moneymakers like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey were allowed to do what they wanted or sometimes even protected because it was profitable. But there seems to be a shift happening when it comes to that “money before all” mentality that kept this dysfunction going for so long. Not only did The Weinstein Company give Harvey the boot once his scandal hit the news, but a lot of their projects were postponed or pulled and the company itself might actually go under because of it. Kevin Spacey has already been written out of House of Cards and replaced in a new film, and even more minor projects are being ditched because of their association with accused abusers, so it seems like Hollywood is finally putting it’s money where it’s mouth is.
2. But Hollywood’s Abuse Problem Has Never Really Been A Secret
It seems like Harvey Weinstein’s exposure was really the straw that broke the camel’s back, but there’s also a reason why so many people have been referring to these situations as “open secrets,” because they really were openly known. Rumors about people like Weinstein, Spacey, Sheen, Louis C.K., and many others have been floating around for years, and in some cases they weren’t just rumors; there were people who had openly accused them of bad behavior but nothing was really done about it (or sadly, often times the accusers were blacklisted). And men, women, and even children working in the industry have openly discussed the problems of abuse and harassment that they’ve faced, but once again nothing was done about it. Only when these issues seemed to reach critical mass did victims seem to feel comfortable naming names and abusers finally face some consequences for their behavior. And while it’s great to finally see real change happening, there’s no debating that the real change is only coming about because the people in the industry who covered for these abusers are now only trying to cover for themselves by finally doing something about it.
1. The Way The Entertainment Industry Works Might Be Changing, And Even Laws Might Be Changing
One of the few bright sides of all of these misdeeds in the entertainment industry being exposed is that it finally seems like that exposure is forcing change within the industry itself. As the old saying goes, sunlight is the best disinfectant. But not only are a lot of these serial predators finally being exposed publicly, many of them are already suffering actual consequences for their bad behavior and some of these incidents are even being investigated by police. The torrent of these abuse accusations are also bringing discussions of protections within the industry to the forefront. Obviously establishing a safe work environment is important for everyone, but some are now questioning whether or not certain aspects of the law have worked in favor of concealing serial abusers. For instance, non-disclosure agreements are a fairly standard inclusion in many civil suit cases, but in situations like Harvey Weinstein’s, they helped him to keep his behavior a secret and made his victims legally bound to keep their abuse experience a secret as well.
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