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The Weinstein Effect, refers to a deluge of sexual harassment and assault allegations levied towards many Hollywood celebrities and political figures, triggered by Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment allegations. Those named in the allegations are sometimes described as being "MeToo'd," a reference to the #MeToo sexual harassment and misconduct awareness campaign.
On October 5th, 2017, the New York Times reported that movie executive and Oscar award-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein had paying off sexual harassment accusers. In the article, the Times reports that the accounts of numerous women, including actress Ashely Judd. Judd referred to his behavior as "coercive bargaining," as he would help or hurt careers in return for sexual favors. As per the New York Times report, Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women over these allegations.
Weinstein's would be the first in a number of sexual misconduct allegations lodged at members of the film and TV industry. As the scandal broke, other women and men came forward alleging harassment, assault and misconduct against actors, executives, directors and members of the Hollywood entertainment industry.
On November 2nd, 2017, the r/WeinsteinEffect subreddit was created in order to document examples of famous individuals being accused of sexual misconduct.
Harvey Weinstein Sexual Harassment Allegations refers to a series of accusations regarding film executive Harvey Weinstein's treatment of women, including reports of sexual harassment, which led to Weinstein's firing from his company The Weinstein Company in October 2017.
Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Allegations refers to the controversy surrounding Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey’s alleged illicit advances toward actor Anthony Rapp when he was only 14-years-old. Following the allegations, Spacey apologized but was criticized for using his apology statement as a platform to come out as a homosexual.
Louis C.K. Sexual Misconduct Allegations refer to claims made from several women that comedian Louis C.K. had masturbated in front of them without their consent. After first being reported on by Gawker sub-site Defamer in 2015, The New York Times broke the story in November of 2017. Prior to the New York Times story breaking, the New York premiere of Louis C.K.'s film I Love You Daddy, which featured characters miming masturbation in front of others, was cancelled.
George Takei Sexual Assault Allegations refer to allegations made against actor George Takei that he sexually assaulted model Scott R. Brunton in 1981. Takei denied the claims and claimed that Russian bots were spreading the rumors.
Sylvester Stallone Sexual Assault Allegations refers to an alleged forced sexual act perpetrated by actor and director Sylvester Stallone and his body guard on a 16-year-old female in 1986. Though the Daily Mail reported that there is a police report from the incident, Stallone has denied the event took place.
On November 8th, 2017, Deadline reported that Amazon was conducting an internal investigation into allegations against Transparent. Tambor's former assistant Van Barnes claimed that an unnamed, former boss "repeatedly propositioned her, made lewd comments, groped her and threatened to sue her if she spoke up." Following news of a second allegation against Tambor, the actor decided to leave Transparent.
In a statement, he continued to deny the allegations. He said, "I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent."
On November 19th, 2017, the Los Angeles Times reported that a woman has accused music producer Russell Simmons of sexual assault when she was 17-years-old. He was 33-years-old at the time. Simmons has denied the allegations.
On November 2nd, 2017, Variety reported that a former employee of the Endeavor Talent Agency accused Hollywood director Brett Ratner of rape, detailing the assault in Facebook. Over the next few weeks, more women, including actresses Ellen Page, Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge accused the director of sexual misconduct.
On October 30th, 2017, actress Ariane Bellamar accused actor Jeremy Piven of sexual harassment and assault. While Piven denied the allegations, over the next two weeks, two other women accused Piven of assault and/or misconduct. The actor continued to deny the allegations, and a representative for the actor said he was "looking at legal options.
On October 10th, 2017, actor Ben Affleck commented on the allegations against his long-time collaborator Harvey Weinstein on Facebook The post (shown below) received more than 33,000 reactions, 1,700 shares and 1,600 comments in 24 hours. When posted to Twitter, the post received more than 12,000 retweets and 49,000 likes in 24 hours. In the post, he said:
"I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick. This is completely unacceptable, and I find myself asking what I can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to others. We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters. We must support those who come forward, condemn this type of behavior when we see it and help ensure there are more women in positions of power."
Later that day, actress Rose McGowan responded to his comments, claiming that his ignorance to the situation was dishonest. When the two worked together on Phantoms, McGowan asserts that Affleck was aware of Weinstein's sexual harassing McGowan. In a tweet captioned "You want to play let's play #ROSEARMY," McGowan posted a screen shot of a previous tweet in which recounts Afflecks reaction. She says, "@benafflect 'GODDAMNIT! I TOLD HIM TO STOP DOING THAT' you said that to my face. The pres conf I was made to go to after assault. You lie." The tweet (shown below) received more tahn 3,000 retweets and 8,300 likes in less than 24 hours.
Following McGowan's response, Twitter began discussing Affleck's response. When one Twitter user suggested that he should have "kept quiet," another responded that he also grabbed actress Hilarie Burton's breasts on TRL once. Everyone forgot though. Burton responded to the tweet, "I didn't forget." The tweet (shown below) received more than 1,100 retweets and 2,500 likes in less than 24 hours.
The following day, Affleck responded in a tweet. He said, "I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize." The post (shown below) received more than1,700 retweets and 5,000 likes in three hours.
On November 9th, 2017, an anonymous 4chan user submitted a post to /tv/ speculating that Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter was "next" (shown below). On November 18th, a similar post was submitted to /co/.
On November 21st, Lasseter delivered a memo to Pixar staff saying he would be taking a leave of absence
"I have always wanted our animation studios to be places where creators can explore their vision with the support and collaboration of other gifted animators and storytellers. This kind of creative culture takes constant vigilance to maintain. It’s built on trust and respect, and it becomes fragile if any members of the team don’t feel valued. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen; and I now believe I have been falling short in this regard. I’ve recently had a number of difficult conversations that have been very painful for me. It’s never easy to face your missteps, but it’s the only way to learn from them.
That day, The Hollywood Reporter published an article titled "John Lasseter's Pattern of Alleged Misconduct Detailed by Disney/Pixar Insiders," reporting that Lasseter was well known in the company for inappropriately touching and kissing female staff.
On November 20th, 2017, The Washington Post reported that eight women had come forward accusing American talk show host and journalist Charlie Rose of making unwanted sexual advances on them while they were employees or applying to work for him during the late 1990s to 2011. That evening, Rose tweeted a statement apologizing for his "inappropriate behavior" but that he did "not believe that all of these allegations are accurate" (shown below).
The following day, Rose was fired from CBS and his PBS television show was canceled.
MeToo Redemption Television Series
On April 25th, 2018, writer and women's advocate Tina Brown confirmed to the New York Post that an unnamed producer is shopping a television show hosted by "Charlie Rose in which he interviews men high-profile men who had their careers upended by the #MeToo movement, including Louis C.K., Matt Lauer and more.
Many reacted negatively to the news. On Twitter, many discussed how they found it offensive that the perpetrators, not the victims, be given a television show to discuss how they feel. Twitter user @RVAwonk tweeted, "What about the show where we hear from all the women whose careers were derailed by Charlie Rose & men like him? …and the women who didn't pursue the careers they wanted to because of men like Charlie Rose? …and the women whose lives were destroyed by men like Charlie Rose?" The post (shown below, left) received more than 2,300 retweets and 5,700 likes in 24 hours.
Throughout the day, more people posted their disapproval of the idea. Twitter published a Moments page based on the reaction to the television series.
That day, Redditor OVEIDPTVZSEU posted about the television show in the /r/television subreddit. Within 24 hours, the post received more than 770 points (89% upvoted) and 210 comments.
On November 22nd, 2017, pop singer and former member of girl group Dream Melissa Schuman recounted an alleged sexual assault by Backstreet Boy-member Nick Carter when she was 18. In post on her Wordpress blog Melissa Explains It All, she wrote:
"I told him thats not why I didn’t want to do it. He took off my pants anyway and then proceeded to perform oral sex on me. I told him to stop, but he didn’t. So I turned off the bathroom light so I wouldn’t see anything. He kept turning the light back on because he told me he wanted to look at me. I remember thinking at that point that maybe after this he will just stop, but he didn’t.
"When he placed my hand on his penis my thought was the only way to get out was to get him to finish what he had started. That’s where I saw myself, my reflection, watching myself do something that I was sicken by. Watching myself be assaulted, forced to engage in an act against my will."
In a statement to Vanity Fair, Nick Carter denied the allegations. He said:
"I am shocked and saddened by Ms. Schuman’s accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally. This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later. It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm."
On November 27th, 2017, NBC News received a complaint regarding "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" by news anchor Matt Lauer. 48 hours later, NBC News president Andrew Lack delivered a memo to staff announcing Lauer had been terminated from the company following a review that determined he was in "clear violation" of the company's rules against sexual harassment. Additionally, the memo added that there was evidence the misconduct may have occurred on multiple occasions. That day, the morning news show Today discussed Lauer's termination (shown below).
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
That morning, journalist Yashar Ali tweeted that he has been aware of the rumors "even before Weinstein" and that "Matt Lauer put the fear of god into these women" (shown below).
On November 29th, Minnesota Public Radio announced that they were severing all ties with Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame after learning of inappropriate behavior between himself and a woman who worked with him. The decision was reached after a month of investigation conducted by an outside law firm hired by MPR. In a statement to The New York Times, Keillor stated "I’ve been fired over a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version M.P.R. heard. Most stories are." In an email to The Star Tribune, Keillor alleged he had accidentally placed his hand on a woman's bare back, and he had later apologized to the woman for the incident. Keillor had been a vocal supporter of Al Franken during his sexual misconduct allegations, and had posted an article for The Washington Post defending Franken less than 24 hours before his own firing. This led The Washington Post to swiftly add an update to Keillor's article (shown below).
Twitter users joked about the news by spoofing Keillor's show. Upon learning that Keillor said the story was "much more interesting than the one MPR heard," Twitter user @JonBois joked "well now we know keillor didn’t tell it" (shown below, left). Twitter user @charles_kinbote tweeted a joke about Keillor orgasming in the Prairie Home Companion voice (shown below, right).
On Reddit, threads to /r/minnesota and /r/news about the news gained over 200 points. A thread on /r/the_donald celebrating that Keillor was fired just after defending Franken gained 730 points.
In November 2017, two women came accused actor Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct. The first, writer Anna Graham Hunter alleged that Hoffman groped her on the set of the 1985 TV movie Death of a Salesman, when she was 17. She also stated that the actor was openly flirtatious with her and would make inappropriate jokes of a sexual nature toward her. The following day, a second woman, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis that Hoffman had propositioned her for sex while she pitched him a movie.
The following month, on December 4th, 2017, John Oliver hosted a roundtable discussion about the Dustin Hoffman film Wag the Dog. During the discussion, Oliver began asking Hoffman about the allegations. The Washington Post uploaded a cell phone video of the conversation, which many, including the Post, noted the tense tone of the discussion, with many referring to it as Oliver "grilling" Hoffman.
On December 5th, 2017, Netflix announced that they had fired actor Danny Masterson from their series The Ranch due to rape allegations from three women. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the actor and a potential cover-up by the Church of Scientology.
That day, Redditor Melanismdocom posted about the story in the /r/television subreddit. The post received more than 23,000 points (91% upvoted) and 3,600 comments in less than eight hours.
On December 11th, 2017, The Daily Mail reported that Terry Richard, the ex-wife of singer Eddie Fisher, had accused talkshow host Larry King of groping her on two occasions. The incidents, which allegedly took place in 2005 and 2006, occurred while the two took a photograph together. Richards claims that during the photographs, King squeezed her buttocks, leaving a bruise. She said, "Larry slid his hand down from the middle of my back to putting his hand inside of my dress and it ended up with about three or four of his fingers in the crack of my ass, resting in the crack of my ass."
Larry King denied the allegations. In a statement to People magazine, he said that he "flatly and unequivocally denies these claims" and that he "intends to file suit and prove that they’re utterly false."
On December 11th, 2017, the food website Eater reported that four women had come forward to accuse chef Mario Batali of sexual misconduct and inappropriate touching. The behavior and incidents span nearly two decades.
In a statement, Batali did not deny the accusations. He said:
“I apologize to the people I have mistreated and hurt. Although the identities of most of the individuals mentioned in these stories have not been revealed to me, much of the behavior described does, in fact, match up with ways I have acted. That behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility and am deeply sorry for any pain, humiliation or discomfort I have caused to my peers, employees, customers, friends and family.
“I have work to do to try to regain the trust of those I have hurt and disappointed. For this reason, I am going to step away from day-to-day operations of my businesses. We built these restaurants so that our guests could have fun and indulge, but I took that too far in my own behavior. I won’t make that mistake again. I want any place I am associated with to feel comfortable and safe for the people who work or dine there.
"I know my actions have disappointed many people. The successes I have enjoyed are owned by everyone on my team. The failures are mine alone. To the people who have been at my side during this time -- my family, my partners, my employees, my friends, my fans -- I am grateful for your support and hopeful that I can regain your respect and trust. I will spend the next period of time trying to do that.”
As a result of the allegations, Batali has stepped away from day-to-day operations his company Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group, the restaraunt-managment enterprise that supports a network of more than 20 restaurants. He has also been asked to step away from his ABC network daytime show The Chew.
For the company, co-owner Joe Bastianich said, “Right now, I’m just focused on ensuring that our more than 1,000 employees continue to have a safe and positive work environment.”
ABC also released a statement, which said, “ABC takes matters like this very seriously as we are committed to a safe work environment. While we are unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving him and anyone affiliated with the show, we will swiftly address any alleged violations of our standards of conduct."
On December 15th, Mario Batali wrote an apology in his newsletter. However, Batali spurred another controversy by including a recipe for "Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls" at the bottom of the letter. He wrote:
"As many of you know, this week there has been some news coverage about some of my past behavior.
I have made many mistakes and I am so very sorry that I have disappointed my friends, my family, my fans and my team. My behavior was wrong and there are no excuses. I take full responsibility.
Sharing the joys of Italian food, tradition and hospitality with all of you, each week, is an honor and privilege. Without the support of all of you -- my fans -- I would never have a forum in which to expound on this.
I will work every day to regain your respect and trust.
ps. in case you're searching for a holiday-inspired breakfast, these Pizza Dough Cinnamon Rolls are a fan favorite."
Online, people commented about the decision and, more specifically, as many expressed, that it exhibited poor decision making (examples people).
On December 11th, 2017, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an expose article about Kentucky State Lawmaker Dan Johnson with alleged ties to reports of arson, false testimony, and the molestation of a 14 year old girl at a 2012 New Year's Eve party. Johnson refuted these claims as they made their way to national headlines. On December 13th, 2017, news station WDRB reported that Johnson had committed suicide. News of his death quickly spread to national media outlets and subsequently was featured as the top trending topic on Facebook. News station WDRB also published a post Johnson made on his Facebook page before his suicide.
Obtained from WDRB:
The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news . Conservatives take a stand. I LOVE GOD and I LOVE MY WIFE, who is the best WIFE in the world,My Love Forever ! My Mom and Dad my FAMILY and all five of my kids and Nine grandchildren two in tummies and many more to come each of you or a total gift from GOD stay strong, REBECCA needs YOU . 9-11-2001 NYC/WTC, PTSD 24/7 16 years is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer. IT Has Won This Life . BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME. “PLEASE LISTEN CLOSELY, Only Three things I ask of you to do,if you love me is (1)blame no person,Satan is the accuser, so blame the Devil himself. (2) Forgive and Love everyone especially yourself .(3)most importantly LOVE GOD. P.S. I LOVE MY FRIENDS YOU ARE FAMILY ! GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT !
On December 13th, 2017, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock tweeted a link to blogpost outlining his own past of sexual misconduct. The tweet (shown below) read, "I am part of the problem." Within 24 hours, it received more than 1,000 retweets and 1,800 likes.
In his blogpost, he describes a time in college when a woman accused him of rape, which at the time, he believed to be a consensual sexual relationship.
Additionally, he describes times when he called his female assistant "hot pants" or "sex pants," then paid a settlement for her silence on the matter. He also writes of a pattern of infidelity to numerous partners.
He writes that his coming forward makes him part of the problem and solution. Spurlock says:
"I am part of the problem. We all are.
"But I am also part of the solution. By recognizing and openly admitting what I’ve done to further this terrible situation, I hope to empower the change within myself. We should all find the courage to admit we’re at fault.
More than anything, I’m hopeful that I can start to rebuild the trust and the respect of those I love most. I'm not sure I deserve it, but I will work everyday to earn it back."
Online, people had a mixed reaction to Spurlock's admission. Some saw that his post is necessary to move the dialogue about sexual harassment further, while others believe that he does not deserve praise for his decisions and wanted to beat the story before it came out.
On December 19th, 2017, The Daily Beast reported a number of sexual assault allegations toward Silicon Valley-star T.J. Miller. The accusations come from a woman that Miller dated while attending George Washington University.
Among the allegations included in the report, Miller has been accused of punching a woman in the mouth during sex and choking a woman during sex without the woman's consent. The woman, who the article refers to as Sarah to protect her anonymity, said, "He pulled me back to bed and more things happened. He anally penetrated me without my consent, which I actually believe at that point I cried out, like, ‘No,’ and he didn’t continue to do that--but he also had a [beer] bottle with him the entire time. He used the bottle at one point to penetrate me without my consent."
T.J. and his wife Kate Miller released a statement on the allegations, accusing the woman of attempting to slander the Millers. They write:
"We met this woman over a decade ago while studying together in college, she attempted to break us up back then by plotting for over a year before making contradictory claims and accusations. She attempted to discredit both of our voices and use us against one another by trying to portray Kate to be a continuous abuse victim of T.J. (further efforts to hurt the two of us). She was asked to leave our university comedy group because of worrisome and disturbing behavior, which angered her immensely, she then became fixated on our relationship, and began telling people around campus 'I’m going to destroy them' & 'I’m going to ruin him.'"
On December 31st, 2017, Dan Harmon, American TV producer and the co-creator of Rick and Morty and Community, posted a tweet declaring that 2017 was "the Year of the Asshole" and his New Year's resolution is to be "not as much of an asshole," alluding to his own misconducts while working with female coworkers in the past. On January 2nd, 2018, Megan Ganz, American comedy writer who previously worked with Harmon on Community, replied to Harmon's tweet asking to elaborate on his statement.
Harmon apologized for treating Ganz like "garbage," though without any specific details surrounding their past, to which Ganz responded by further hinting at how Harmon's unprofessional conduct negatively impacted her during and after she worked with him on Community.
Daryl Comedy Sketch
In late July 2018, a 2009 comedy sketch titled Daryl began circulating online, in which Harmon portrays a man named Daryl who prevents people from becoming serial killers by raping them as babies (shown below).
Harmon was subsequently criticized by prominent conservatives on Twitter, including Mike Cernovich, for making light of pedophilia. On July 23rd, Harmon deleted his Twitter account. That day, The Wrap published an article about the controversy, claiming that conservatives "fueled online outrage" over the comedy sketch.
On January 9th, 2018, The Daily Mail published an article of accusations against Stan Lee by women from a high-end nursing company who cared for him. According to the nurses, who remained anonymous, Lee groped and harassed them while they cared for him in his Los Angeles home, causing them to quit. According to the allegations, Lee would demand oral sex, walk around naked, and ask to be "pleasured" in his bedroom. The company is currently in a legal dispute with Lee, though no police report or lawsuit has yet been filed. Lee's lawyer Tom Lallas sent a cease and desist letter to the nursing company, which remains unidentified to protect the anonymity of the workers, on December 20th, 2017. To the Daily Mail, Lallas wrote:
"Mr. Lee categorically denies these false and despicable allegations and he fully intends to fight to protect his stellar good name and impeccable character. We are not aware of anyone filing a civil action, or reporting these issues to the police, which for any genuine claim would be the more appropriate way for it to be handled. Instead, Mr. Lee has received demands to pay money and threats that if he does not do so, the accuser will go to the media. Mr Lee will not be extorted or blackmailed, and will pay no money to anyone because he has done absolutely nothing wrong."
The new company taking care of Lee, Vitale Nursing Inc, has said that Lee has been "polite, kind, and respectful" since they began caring for him. The Daily Mail also quotes a person close to Lee who believes Lee is being taken advantage of.
The story trended on Twitter that day and was covered by Twitter Moments. While some on Twitter reacted with dismay at the news, many on Twitter were skeptical of the news because of Daily Mail's poor reputation as a news source (examples shown below).
Accepting his award for Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, James Franco gave his acceptance speech wearing a Times Up button, signaling his support of the victims of sexual misconduct in the work place.
Following his win, however, actress Ally Sheedy tweeted a series of posts, alluding to negative experiences with Franco. Over a three tweets, she wrote, "James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business. Ok wait. Bye. Christian Slater and James Franco at a table on @goldenglobes #MeToo. Why is a man hosting? Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much. Nite love ya." The tweets were deleted shortly after.
The Daily Beast suggests that the issue Sheedy is referencing stems from a 2014 off-Broadway production of The Long Shrift, which Sheedy and Franco worked on together.
More women began tweeting allegations about Franco's alleged abuse as a teach of his acting school, Studio 4, as well when working on Franco's directorial projects. Actress Sarah Tither-Kaplan tweeted, "Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin at the #GoldenGlobes , remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn't exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!" The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 3,300 retweets and 9,400 likes in four days.
That night, another woman shared a story of alleged sexual misconduct perpetrated by Franco. Twitter user @VioletPaley tweeted, "Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?" The post (shown below, right) received more than 12,000 retweets and 30,000 likes in three days.
On January 9th, Franco appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. During which, he discussed the allegations, denying that he acted improperly. "First of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy," he said. "I directed her in a play Off Broadway, I had nothing but a great time with her, total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset.
“The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice.”
Within two days of being uploaded to YouTube, the video of Franco's appearance (shown below) has received more than 1.4 million view.
Several days later, on January 11th, the Los Angeles Times reported that five women, including the two previously mentioned, had accused James Franco of sexually inappropriate behavior. These allegations included women that have been in consensual relationships with Franco, as well as actresses and students that say he put them in sexual inappropriate and uncomfortable positions, such as removing protective guards for movie sets used during simulated sexual acts.
Busy Philipps Allegations
On October 8th, 2018, Radar Online published an excerpt from the memoir of actor Busy Philipps, Franco's onscreen love-interest on the American television drama series Freaks and Geeks. In the excerpt, Philipps recalls a time when she claims that Franco, who she refers to as a "bully," assaulted her on set. Radar writes:
"While filming a scene of the 1999 short-lived sitcom, Philipps, now 39, claims she was directed to gently hit Franco in the chest while delivering her line."
"Franco, she alleges, broke character and suddenly attacked her."
"'He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!'' she writes in the book. 'And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.'"
The excert goes on to state that Philipps's co-star Linda Cardellini encouraged her to tell her manager at the time. However, the next day, at the behest of the show's producers and director, Franco apologized for his behavior.
That day, Twitter user @carolineframke tweeted the excerpt against a quote by Freaks and Geeks-producer Judd Apatow talking about Franco on set. They captioned the image "Real quick, here's how Busy Philipps described working with James Franco vs how Judd Apatow described working with James Franco." The post received more than 150 retweets and 500 likes in less than 24 hours.
On October 17th, 2017, Uma Thurman was asked about the #MeToo movement on the red carpet for her play The Parisian Woman. During the interview, she had been "waiting to feel less angry" before she commented on the movement and her experiences in Hollywood.
On November 23rd, 2017, Thurman posted a screenshot from the film Kill Bill on Instagram with the caption "H A P P Y T H A N K S G I V I N G / I am grateful today, to be alive, for all those I love, and for all those who have the courage to stand up for others. /I said I was angry recently, and I have a few reasons, #metoo, in case you couldn’t tell by the look on my face.
I feel it’s important to take your time, be fair, be exact, so… Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators – I’m glad it’s going slowly – you don’t deserve a bullet) -stay tuned / Uma Thurman." The post (shown below) received more than 180,000 likes in three months.
On February 3rd, 2018, actor Uma Thurman told the New York Times that Harvey Weinstein had attacked her on more than one occasion, telling the Times that Weinstein had forced himself upon her at the Savoy Hotel in London. Several years later, when she and director Quinten Tarantino were about begin shooting the 2003 kung fu film Kill Bill, she reiterated to Tarantino that the film's executive producer, Harvey Weinstein, had attacked her. Both Thurman and Weinstein acknowledge that he apologized for the incident, though, Thurman described it as "half-assed."
Toward the end of shooting Kill Bill, Tarantino asked Thurman to do a driving scene without the aide of a stunt person. Thurman told the director that she did not feel comfortable doing the scene. She the described her conversation with Tarantino about the scene. She said:
"Quentin came in my trailer and didn’t like to hear no, like any director,” she says. “He was furious because I’d cost them a lot of time. But I was scared. He said: ‘I promise you the car is fine. It’s a straight piece of road.’” He persuaded her to do it, and instructed: “ ‘Hit 40 miles per hour or your hair won’t blow the right way and I’ll make you do it again.’ But that was a deathbox that I was in. The seat wasn’t screwed down properly. It was a sand road and it was not a straight road.”
While filming the scene, Thurman lost control of the car and crashed it into a tree. She describes the crash:
“The steering wheel was at my belly and my legs were jammed under me,” she says. “I felt this searing pain and thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m never going to walk again,’” she says. “When I came back from the hospital in a neck brace with my knees damaged and a large massive egg on my head and a concussion, I wanted to see the car and I was very upset. Quentin and I had an enormous fight, and I accused him of trying to kill me. And he was very angry at that, I guess understandably, because he didn’t feel he had tried to kill me.”
Later, following the incident, Thurman was denied a request to see the footage of her crash, reserving the right to sue Miramax for the crash. However, the production company would only release it if Thurman forfeited all legal action against Miramax. The incident led to a falling out between Thurman and Tarantino, and it was only after 15 years that Tarantino released the footage to her (shown below).
In addition to the car crash, Thurman told the Times that Tarantino had also engaged in other inappropriate behavior on set, including performing some of more sadistic moments of the film himself. These moments included a scene where a character spits in Thurman's face and another where she is choked by a chain.
Several days later, Tarantino gave an interview with Deadline in which he describes that he was unaware of the safety issues with the car and that he believed the drive to be a "straight shot" and safe. He called the incident, "the biggest regret of my life, getting her to do that stunt."
Roman Polanski Comments
Amid the controversy, a 2003 recording of Tarantino defending controversial filmmaker Roman Polanski on The Howard Stern Show, referring to the 1977 arrest of Polanski for an "alleged assault, including rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, and lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under 14," resurfaced. Polanski later plead guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. In the interview (available below), he claims that the 13-year-old girl Polanski raped "wanted to have it and dated the guy."
"He didn’t rape a 13-year-old. It was statutory rape. That’s not quite the same thing. … He had sex with a minor. That’s not rape. To me, when you use the word ‘rape,’ you’re talking about violent, throwing them down; it’s like one of the most violent crimes in the world. Throwing the word ‘rape’ around is like throwing the word ‘racist’ around. It doesn’t apply to everything that people use it for. He was guilty of having sex with a minor."
After, Stern and his co-host Robin Quivers pushed back, he said that they were dealing with the morals of Europe. He continued, "Look, she was down with this. … She’s talked about it since, ‘No, he didn’t really do anything to me. It was a technicality for being 13.'”
On April 27th, 2018, former NBC anchor Linda Vester accused former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who retired in 2004, of sexual harassment. She alleged that Brokaw had forcibly attempted to kiss her on two occasions, groped her in an NBC conference room. In a video provided to Variety (shown below), she described the allegations in full detail.
Vester also alleged that this kind of behavior and the covering up of this kind of behavior was commonplace at NBC. She said, "There was a culture at NBC News, in my experience, where women who raise questions about misconduct get labeled as troublemakers. It can torpedo your career. I already knew that, so I didn’t want to make any trouble. I had just been hired full-time, and I wanted to be able to do my job. I did my best to collect myself and get on with my work."
Brokaw denied the claims. A spokesperson for Brokaw relayed a statement from the former anchor. He said, "I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC. The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other."
That day, an anonymous second woman came forward to accuse Brokaw of sexual misconduct. As a 24-year-old production assistant, she said, Brokaw pulled her to an area of the NBC office, took her hands and put them to his chest and invited her to come to his office that night.
Brokaw claimed to have no recollection of the second accusation.
On May 24th, 2018, CNN reported that as many as eight women who had worked in a professionally capacity with actor Morgan Freeman were accusing Freeman of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment. This included a female production assistant on the set of Freeman's 2015 film Going In Style, in which the actor repeatedly attempted to lift the woman's skirt, and a pregnant CNN reporter during a press interview for Going In Style. In total, 16 people spoke to CNN about Freeman's alleged harassment, eight witnessed his behavior and eight claimed to be a victim.
Freeman responded to the accusations and said, "Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected -- that was never my intent."
#MeToo is a hashtag campaign that circulated on Twitter and other social media platforms in which actress Alyssa Milano encouraged survivors of sexual assault and harassment to post “#MeToo” or “Me Too” to raise awareness and highlight its commonality.
Nice Allegations refers to a series of positive experiences with celebrities shared on Twitter.  In response to recent allegations made against Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, Twitter user @BAKKOOONN tweeted, "if anyone has any nice allegations against a celebrity that would be great too. does a famous actor give good christmas presents. does lady comedian alwyays smoke people out." The tweet received more than 8000 comments, 11,000 retweets and 58,000 likes in five days.
Creepy Perv Apology Generator
In November 2017, Dana Schwartz, Rob Sheridan, and Scott McCaughey launched the Celebrity Perv Apology Generator. The bot automatically compiles the key phrases, tone of voice and excuses found in celebrity apologies, re-contextualizing them into humorous, absurd and sarcastic parodies of celebrity apologies (examples below).
Several media outlets covered the apology generator, including The AV Club, Mashable, Vox and more.
Chuck Schumer Harassment Allegations Hoax
On December 12th, 2017, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer contacted police in regards to a forged document alleging him of sexual misconduct by a former staffer. The former staffer claims that she was unaware of the document and that her signature had been forged.
Schumer's communications director Matt House said, "The document is a forged document and every allegation is false. We have turned it over to the Capitol Police and asked them to investigate and pursue criminal charges because it is clear the law has been broken. We believe the individual responsible for forging the document should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to prevent other malicious actors from doing the same."
The document, which is dated 2012, was shopped to numerous new sources but went unreported due to a number of suspicious inclusions. Axios reports that a source close to Schumer has noted several errors in the document. For example, the document claims that the allegation took place on September 16th, 2011 in Washington, when Schumer was in New York City. It also writes of an incident on August 25th, 2011 in Washington, while Schumer was in France.
Ahead of Schumer's complaints, alt-right social media personalities Chuck Johnson and Mike Cernovich claimed to have the document. On Monday, December 11th, Chuck Johnson wrote on Facebook “Michael Cernovich & I are going to end the career of a U.S. Senator.”
That day, in a since deleted tweet (shown below) , Cernovich posted a screen shot of Johnson's post and added, "Spoke with Chuck Johnson on the phone, he told me he has the full case file."
The Daily Beast reports Cernovich provided BuzzFeed with documents that looked similar to recent sexual harassment claims toward House Representative John Conyers. However, specifics within the document would apply to the House of representatives, not the senate. The Daily Beast writes,
"The Conyers complaint references 'House Rule 23' and a 'mediation' process between Conyers and his accuser. The fake Schumer complaint also describes allegations as falling under 'House Rule 23,' which of course does not exist in the Senate. The 'mediation' process in the Schumer document was never mentioned again."
Since Senator Schumer's office had spoken with police, Cernovich and Johnson have claimed that they too had been duped by the forgery. Cernovich said, "There’s language that looks like it came from some of the Conyers stuff, like it might have been copied from there." He continued that he hopes to find the forger, offering a $10,000 reward for the identity of the perpetrator. Johnson said that he "enthusiastically" awaits an investigation. Forging a public document is punishable by up to 10 years in jail or a $25,000 fine.
On December 19th, 2017, a number of people in the Los Angeles area began reporting posters of Harvey Weinstein next to actress Meryl Streep with the words "She Knew" written over her eyes wheat pasted in public spaces (examples below). "She Knew" refers to a critique of Streep's perceived complicity in Weinstein's alleged crimes.
The artist behind the posters has yet to claim credit, but the posters visibility were boosted by alt-right personality Mike Cernovich, who applauded the campaign. When the posters began appearing, Cernovich tweeted a video explainer on the posters and wrote, "Street artists launch #SheKnew campaign calling out Meryl Streep for keeping quiet about her good friend Harvey Weinstein's abusiveness." The post (shown below) received more than 700 retweets and 1,000 likes in less than one day.
Others online reacted negatively to the posters. Many online stated that Streep may not be the best target for attacks regarding Weinstein (examples below).
Several media outlets covered the posters including The Hollywood Reporter, Uproxx and more. Twitter published a Momements page about the posters and the reaction to them.
 The New York Times – Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades
 The Hollywood Reporter – Harvey Weinstein to Sue N.Y. Times, Says His Attorney
 Deadline – Jeffrey Tambor Being Investigated By Amazon On Sexual Harassment Claims; Actor “Adamantly” Denies Allegations
 Deadline – Jeffrey Tambor Exits ‘Transparent’ After Sexual Harassment Allegations
 Deadline – CBS 'Looking Into' Jeremy Piven Sexual Assault Allegations By ‘Entourage’ Actress, HBO Also Responds
 Independent – Jeremy Piven on Hollywood sex scandal: 'Careers are being destroyed based on mere allegations
 The Los Angeles Times – Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner face new allegations of sexual misconduct
 Variety – Brett Ratner Rape Allegation Detailed by Ex-Endeavor Employee
 Variety – Brett Ratner Accused of Sexual Harassment or Misconduct by Six Women
 Twitter – @BAKKOOONN's Tweet
 Reddit – r/WeinsteinEffect
 Archive.is – /tv/ thread
 Archive.is – /co/ thread
 The Hollywood Reporter – John Lasseter's Pattern of Alleged Misconduct Detailed by Disney/Pixar Insiders
 Melissa Explains It All – Don’t worry, I won’t tell anybody.
 Vanity Fair – Nick Carter Denies Sexual Assault Allegation
 Apology Generator – Main Site
 The AV Club – Save some precious time with the automatic Celebrity Apology Generator
 Mashable – The 'Celebrity Perv Apology Generator' mocks the hollow public statements of men in power
 MPR – STATEMENT FROM MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO REGARDING GARRISON KEILLOR AND A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION
 New York Times – Minnesota Public Radio Fires Garrison Keillor Over Allegations of Improper Conduct
 The Star Tribune – Read Garrison Keillor's full email to the Star Tribune
 The Washington Post – Al Franken should resign? That’s absurd.
 Reddit – Garrison Keillor Fired from MPR for Inappropriate Behavior
 Reddit – Garrison Keillor says he’s been fired over allegations of inappropriate behavior
 Reddit – PJW: Garrison Keillor. Writes Washington Post article DEFENDING Al Franken's groping
 The Guardian – Dustin Hoffman accused of sexual harassment against 17-year-old
 The Guardian – Dustin Hoffman faces second sexual harassment claim
 The Washington Post – John Oliver grills Dustin Hoffman about sexual harassment allegations
 The Hollywood Reporter – Danny Masterson Fired From Netflix's 'The Ranch' Amid Rape Allegations
 Reddit – Danny Masterson Fired From Netflix's 'The Ranch' Amid Rape Allegations
 The Sun – ‘EXPLORE MY BODY’ Dustin Hoffman accused of sexual harassment by second woman who says actor left her ‘close to tears’
 People Magazine – Genius Producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis Accuses Dustin Hoffman of Sexual Harassment in 1991
 The Mercury News – Dustin Hoffman hit with second woman’s sexual harassment accusation
 Huffington Post – Dustin Hoffman Is ‘A Kidder,’ Film Director Says Of Sexual Harassment Claims
 Eater – Mario Batali Steps Away From Restaurant Empire Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations
 The Daily Mail – EXCLUSIVE: 'His fingers went into the crack of my a**!' Ex-wife of crooner Eddie Fisher claims Larry King groped her twice – once sliding his hand down the back of her dress and again squeezing her butt so hard it left a bruise
 People – Larry King 'Flatly and Unequivocally Denies' Groping Eddie Fisher's Ex-Wife Terry Richard
 Facebook Trends – Dan Johnson Suicide
 WDRB – Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson dies of 'probable suicide' in Mt. Washington
 KYCIR – The Long Con
 KYCIR – Police case files re: alleged sexual assault by Danny Ray Johnson
 Axios – Schumer calls cops after forged sex scandal charge
 The Daily Beast – Alt-Right Hyped Sexual Harassment Hoax to Attack Schumer
 BuzzFeed – Another Woman Accused Rep. John Conyers Of Sexual Harassment In Court Filings This Year
 Twitter – @MorganSpurlock's Tweet
 TwitLonger – I am Part of the Problem
 The Daily Beast – ‘Silicon Valley’ Star T.J. Miller Accused of Sexually Assaulting and Punching a Woman
 Twitter – @CernovichNews' Tweet
 The Hollywood Reporter – Meryl Streep Targeted by Street Artists With "She Knew" Posters
 Uproxx – Meryl Streep’s Comments On The Weinstein Scandal Have Made Her The Latest Target Of An LA Street Artist
 Twitter – Meryl Streep's Weinstein comments spur 'She Knew' posters
 Twitter – Dan Harmon's Tweet
 Twitter – Megan Ganz's Tweet
 Deadline – Dan Harmon Apologizes To Former ‘Community’ Writer For Inappropriate Behavior, Abuse Of Power
 Daily Mail – EXCLUSIVE: Marvel creator Stan Lee, 95, is accused of groping nurses and demanding oral sex in the shower at his $20m Los Angeles home – but says he is victim of a 'shake down'
 Twitter Moments – Stan Lee accused of sexual misconduct
 The Daily Beast – James Franco Called Out Over Golden Globes Win By Actress Ally Sheedy With #MeToo
 Twitter – @sarahtk's Tweet
 Twitter – @VioletPaley's Tweet
 YouTube – James Franco Supports 'Time's Up,' Addresses Recent Accusations
 The Los Angeles Times – Five women accuse actor James Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior
 The New York Times – This Is Why Uma Thurman Is Angry
 Instagram – @ithurman's Post
 Deadline – Quentin Tarantino Explains Everything: Uma Thurman, The ‘Kill Bill’ Crash & Harvey Weinstein
 Variety – Quentin Tarantino Defends Polanski in Resurfaced Interview: 13-Year-Old Girl ‘Wanted to Have It’
 The New York Post – Tina Brown says she was pitched Charlie Rose comeback show
 Twitter – @RVAwonk's Tweet
 Twitter – Charlie Rose will reportedly host a series about men scandalized by Me Too
 Reddit – Disgraced CBS anchor Charlie Rose is being slated to star in a show where he’ll interview other high-profile men who have also been toppled by #MeToo scandals
 Variety – Tom Brokaw Accused of Sexual Harassment By Former NBC Anchor
 The Hollywood Reporter – Two Women Accuse Tom Brokaw of Inappropriate Workplace Advances in 1990s
 CNN – Morgan Freeman accused of inappropriate behavior, harassment
 Twitter – @Cernovich
 The Wrap – Dan Harmon Leaves Twitter As Old Pedophilia Sketch Resurfaces
 Radar Online – Busy Philipps Claims James Franco Assaulted Her In New Tell-All: ‘He Threw Me To The Ground’
 Twitter – @carolineframke's Tweet
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