The ever-growing number of accused are beginning to look like a lecher colony. Their number has brought about the realization that sexual misconduct is normal conduct, in our government buildings and movie studios. What has been eagerly-coined the "Harvey-effect" is a zeitgeist change, and allegations are finally being taken seriously. But our pubic inquisition is ironic, and belated, because our fervent love for the famous has delayed justice for the abused.
Celebrities enjoy an idolatrous relationship with their fans. We, the fans transfixed by late-night television and professionally-run social media, are the alibi that excused them from justice. Naturally, young people like us are the most possessed by social media, and we still get our late-night through YouTube clippings; we are irrevocably tied to the cult of celebrity.
In the past, most have chosen not to accept the possibility that Louis C.K. masturbated in front of women without their consent. I am among those that heard the rumours. And in my pre-Weinstein naïveté, I rejected them in favour of his standup, just as many rejected that thought of Kevin Spacey, in favour of The Usual Suspects, and House of Cards.
I was part of this problem, and I may have then discarded all the allegations now reaching the public, since the Harvey-effect has taken hold.
It is in our own interest to preserve the character of a celebrity so that we can continue loving it. So when our idols are challenged, we are unreliable in finding the truth, and this unreliability has dissuaded victims from raising their accusations at all.
We can find another example in Spacey, who was an institution of Hollywood and a mainstay of public adoration. In the past, when the unspeakable was spoken of him, those invested in their love for the actor turned their backs. I believe that there is no justification for the magnitude of attention and respect we give celebrities, but that’s a lost battle. Our attention should at least be willing to criticize figures in the celebrity pantheon who are no less human than us.
Looking beneath the make-up is the only way to imagine how Kevin Spacey has always really looked — not laughing and acting, but serious and leering.
Even when we suspect Spacey did it, we are hesitant to dwell on the image and its connotations. Undoubtedly, our resistance was greater when the evidence had not been so compiled.
In retrospect of past years, we can see a pattern: what few victims who made accusations in the past were not taken seriously enough, and they risked inevitable public and professional backlash. Those who did threatened our ability to enjoy the Oscars, and we have picked award shows over acknowledging reality without fail. As such, many more accusations, raised only since the public is wiser, were not even made available for us to ignore.
Though rumours and allegations fall short of convictions, they nonetheless deserve consideration. Now, they are getting it, but if we are to fully cleanse this rot from our history, we must acknowledge our own role in the depravity that has decorated Hollywood for so long. Our inquisition can end when we are remembered among those disgraced whom we once idolized.