Sexual Harassment of Males In the Entertainment Industry
Since news about movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of women broke, a number of male celebrities have stepped forward to say that when they were in their teens, 20s, or older, they have faced groping or unwanted sexual actions, and at that, usually from other men (i.e, men in the entertainment industry, such as movie directors, agents, and so forth).
Here are some of the news stories or Tweets about this that I’ve seen so far:
Actor Todd Bridges talked about being assaulted by his publicist when he was just 11 years old. In the documentary movie An Open Secret, detailing rampant issues of pedophilia in Hollywood, Bridges talked about asking to be written out of an episode of Diff’rent Strokesthat dealt with the issue “because I had myself gone through that, and watching it happen on the show it was like reliving that all over again.”
And then there’s Corey Feldman, who blew the lid off the issue while doing press rounds for his memoir, Coreyography, back in 2013 — and was met with great resistance while doing so. Feldman spoke honestly about having been molested during his early years acting in Hollywood and said that his best friend, the late Corey Haim, had been raped by a Hollywood predator at age 11.
Feldman spoke about his and Haim’s issues with assault with the Hollywood Reporter in 2016.
“He had more direct abuse than I did,” Feldman said. “With me, there were some molestations, and it did come from several hands, so to speak, but with Corey, his was direct rape, whereas mine was not actual rape. And his also occurred when he was 11. My son is 11 now, and I can’t even begin to fathom the idea of something like that happening to him. It would destroy his whole being. As I look at my son, a sweet, innocent, 11-year-old boy and then try to put him in Corey Haim’s shoes, I go, ‘Oh, my God — well of course he was erratic and not well-behaved on sets and things like that.’ What more could we expect of him really? Everybody deals with things differently.”
As this dam slowly begins to break, it appears that more Hollywood men than we know have also suffered from sexual assault and harassment. So why haven’t we heard more about this? Why aren’t they talking about it, too?
“In terms of male sexual trauma, we’re a good generation behind in terms of public awareness, acknowledgement, and building support services,” says Rick Goodwin, a training consultant for 1in6, an organization focused on building programs and support for male victims of sexual assault.
Rob Schneider wants to make one thing clear about Harvey Weinstein — the mogul is no lone wolf, and Rob knows it because he too was sexually harassed by a director.
…Rob says the director is now dead, but the incident has clearly stuck with him.
JAMES VAN DER BEEK
The former Dawson’s Creek star tweeted his support of the women speaking their truths in light of the Weinstein allegations before launching into his own experience with sexual harassment.
The actor revealed he’d been touched inappropriately by “older, powerful men” when he was a lot younger.
…When asked for additional details, Van Der Beek’s publicist told BuzzFeed News that the actor did not have anything else to add at the moment about this specific revelation.
Van Der Beek’s comments come after Terry Crews and Rob Schneider have both shared their experiences earlier this week of being male victims of sexual misconduct by powerful men in Hollywood.
Dawson’s Creek star says he was groped and the victim of inappropriate sexual conversations, as he voices support for women who have spoken out against Harvey Weinstein
…Van Der Beek made the claims on Twitter in a series of posts that offered support to the women who had spoken out against Weinstein. “For anyone judging the women who stayed silent, read this for perspective. Also for anyone brushing off harassment as ‘boys being boys’,” he wrote, linking to an article from fashion website The Cut that detailed a writer’s hotel-room experience with a “powerful man”.
The former Dawson’s Creek actor went on to recount his own personal experience of abuse, though he did not name names. “I’ve had my ass grabbed by older, powerful men, I’ve had them corner me in inappropriate sexual conversations when I was much younger,” he wrote. “I understand the unwarranted shame, powerlessness & inability to blow the whistle. There’s a power dynamic that feels impossible to overcome”.
The 49-year-old made the shocking confession in a series of tweets
by Emily Yahr, Oct 10, 2017
..Afterward, others in Hollywood started to come forward on social media to share stories of sexual harassment. Terry Crews, a former NFL player who currently stars as a police sergeant on Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” wrote a long thread on Twitter and said that the Weinstein news is giving him PTSD because he was groped by a “high level Hollywood executive” during an event last year that he attended with his wife.
Crews said he thought about fighting back, until he realized the optics.
“I was going to kick his ass right then— but I thought twice about how the whole thing would appear: ‘240 lbs. Black Man stomps out Hollywood Honcho’ would be the headline the next day,” he wrote. “Only I probably wouldn’t have been able to read it because I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN JAIL. So we left.”
Crews, who added that he shared the story to “deter predators” and provide hope for others in similar situations, said that after the incident, he understood why women don’t speak up when they’re harassed.
“Who’s going 2 believe you? ( few) What r the repercussions?(many) Do u want 2 work again? (Yes) R you prepared 2b ostracized?(No),” he wrote.
… According to Crews’s tweet, Dylan Howard, the chief content officer of American Media Inc. who just today was accused of sexual misconduct, threatened him with a false story involving a prostitute the day after Crews appeared on Good Morning America to detail Venit’s alleged sexual.
According to a new Associated Press report, Howard “openly described his sexual partners in the newsroom, discussed female employees’ sex lives and forced women to watch or listen to pornographic material.”
Crews’s latest accusation shows the depth of Hollywood’s culture of harassment and abuse.
The lawsuit, first reported by TMZ and obtained by Variety, repeats Crews’ claim that Venit groped his genitals, “squeezing so hard that he leapt back in pain,” and also says Venit stuck “his tongue in and out of his mouth provocatively.” The lawsuit alleges that Crews alerted Adam Sandler, who was at the party and is represented by Venit, by yelling, “Adam, come get your boy! He’s grabbing my nuts.”
The suit also says that Sandler called Crews while he was on his way home from the party to check up on him. It adds that Crews told his agent at WME of the alleged incident, and met with WME chairman Ari Emanuel. Crews expressed fear of retaliation from Venit for reporting the incident, but Emanuel reportedly apologized for him and assured Crews that Venit “did not have that level of power despite his title as head of the Motion Picture Department.”