September 24, 2018 | ° F

CASTELLI: #MeToo in Hollywood may be hypocritical


Opinions Column: Conservative Across the Aisle


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The daily revelations of unmasked sexual deviants have left Hollywood tense and uneasy. For decades, the film industry has been rife with perverts and pedophiles, and it has been fueled by the complacent and avaricious nobility of Tinseltown. The 2018 Golden Globes, distinguished by women adorned in black who ignited the #TimesUp movement, demonstrates the prevalent, potent arrogance and hypocrisy of liberal Hollywood elites. In midst of a slew of sexual assault allegations, set off by accusations against famous producer Harvey Weinstein, the public has been rightfully outraged by the exposed dark underbelly of Hollywood. To those who are familiar with its culture, though, this open secret has always been ingrained within the entertainment empire. 

The casting couch, a term used to describe the exchange of sexual favors by a person in authority in return for access into an occupation, is a practice that has plagued Hollywood since the 1920s. Actresses as young as Shirley Temple were victims of these dealings and were often pressured by directors and agents with promises of stardom. The enduring legacy of the casting-couch culture prompts women to warn each other about the pervasive harassment within the industry. It is an accepted and expected practice to get under the sheets with the director of a project if one wishes to get a major role. The abhorrent and disgusting abuse of power by men in authority has gone unchecked for far too long. What is more upsetting, and arguably more detestable, is the apathy displayed by actors who turned a blind eye and even groomed young men and women to sexual predators such as Harvey Weinstein.

Asia Argento and Rose McGowan, actresses who accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, were not invited to the Golden Globes, nor were the involved at all in organizing the #TimesUp demonstration. To the self-righteous feminists participating in #TimesUp, this decision seems contradictory. Why were these women, who initially brought awareness to this epidemic, not at the forefront of the movement? Their statement would have been more poignant and moving if they made a public appearance. Was it because these women are not as famous as Oprah Winfrey or Meryl Streep? Or perhaps were these victims not glamorous enough? For activists who speak so passionately about the rape culture in America, they seem to be the ones perpetrating it.

Self-congratulatory ceremonies like the Oscars and Golden Globes, ones that are teeming with politically charged monologues and speeches, epitomize Hollywood’s self-absorbed bubble.  Feminist philosophy states that “experiences of sexual violation should be taken seriously” and it “recognizes the rape as a crime against the victim herself”. Holding Hollywood to these standards, then, one can see how they fail the test. Liberal feminist actors and actresses were partying with the same perverts they condemn. They are opportunistic for speaking out — not stunning or brave — and should have stood by these young women from the beginning, according to their philosophy. They are the very last ones who should be preaching about the sexual deviance in Hollywood when they let it fester like a sore. It is incredibly insulting to rape survivors to be used by stars as springboards to take the moral high ground and spout political propaganda.

The primary purpose of Hollywood is to entertain. People tune into personalities like Steven Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel daily because it provides an escape from the monotony and strain of everyday life. People do not watch late night hosts for updates on current events — that is what the news is for. Routines on Comedy Central, NBC and ABC have amounted to political sermons rather than simple comedy monologues. Jimmy Kimmel’s remark about how he “wouldn’t have a conversation” with conservatives diverges from one of his predecessors Johnny Carson, who would deliberately avoid talks about divisive politics because, as he states, it “would hurt me as an entertainer, which is what I am.”  The condescension that Hollywood and late night comedians have towards conservative viewers have been driving ratings down. Carson poked fun at both Democrats and Republicans because, as an entertainer and not a political pundit, he had free range of the political spectrum. Entertainers should not be barred from certain topics, but if their agenda is to exclusively target a specific political ideology, then branding themselves as entertainers is incorrect.

Liberals and conservatives are tired of being lectured on how they should feel and act by Hollywood hypocrites from their ivory towers. These same people feigned ignorance when sexual deviance was rampant and happening right under their noses. It is frustrating to consistently be ridiculed by those who cannot follow their own ideology they go on about regularly instead of doing their job. Hollywood, instead of politically pandering to their left-wing audience, should go back to doing what it does best: entertain. 

Giana Castelli is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science. Her column, "Conservative Across the Aisle" runs every alternate Friday.

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Giana Castelli

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