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The Blue & Gray Press | November 20, 2017

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Staff Ed: The Blue & Gray Press stands with sexual assault survivors in wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal

Staff Ed: The Blue & Gray Press stands with sexual assault survivors in wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal

By THE BLUE & GRAY PRESS STAFF

The Hollywood bully and titan of the independent film industry, Harvey Weinstein, has been brought to his knees after reports by the New York Times and the New Yorker exposed his years of sexually assaulting starlets. In the wake of the reports, the board of the movie company that Weinstein built with his brother, Bob, fired him on Sunday. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revoked his membership, the Producers Guild terminated his membership him. Police in London and New York are investigating him for sexual assault. He is now an outcast in the entire film industry, and Weinstein’s wife has left him.

The latest reports, in the New Yorker on Tuesday, are even darker and more extensive than the original stories of sexual harassment in the New York Times. Many of Weinstein’s accusers’ stories played out the same way. Young actresses and models were tricked into meeting Weinstein in his hotel room, and then they were intimidated into performing sexual acts. Many complied and stayed silent because they feared for the future of their careers. Those who did speak up believed that their careers suffered from it.

This is about more than infamous “casting couches” and decades of abuse. This is hopefully a turning point in our entertainment industry and greater society. Amongst a University that is majority women and an editorial staff that is majority women it is disheartening to hear about. The next step for many of us is in the workplace, and knowing that sexual misconduct is still common in the office is terrifying.

One thing that gives the Blue & Gray staff hope is the growing number of women coming forward and the slow decrease of the stigma surrounding sexual assault victims. Women in Hollywood are no longer staying silent and neither should other women.

At UMW there are several resources for sexual assault survivors. If you have been sexually assaulted or are experiencing intimate partner abuse or know of someone who has please reach out to the on-campus resources. http://students.umw.edu/counseling/sexual-assault-information/

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