Why aren’t we talking about Mark Holland?

It’s Sunday. I’m brunching, so are you. In our conversations over hollandaise, Torontonians are feeling a little strained. the 6ix provides a lot of fun and friends, but in this mix we have befriended and had fun with a growing number of people whom we now don’t know how to talk about. We know the dark side of these people but can’t say a word because of the runaway gossip involved. Guys like Holland were our classmates, managers, co-workers, even friends. Now we struggle with even saying the name for fear of implication. That’s just stupid.

The revelation of this man who, yes I knew through association, came as a shock. As fast as word got around, big names in the 6ix’s party scene were quick to disassociate. No one wanted to be the company who worked with him. His case is nothing new. Over the past decade we’ve seen creeps in the photography and club industries become poster children for diving fashions. From assault, to rape, to pedophilia, these guys used their positions and their jobs to act like criminals all because they could. They took advantage of their power and money to advance their own personal interests in using and hurting women (and in some cases children). People heard, but they didn’t want to accuse in case they were wrong, you could be blacklisted. So we continue our jobs, we party with these same people we heard the whispers about, avoiding the topic. It comes out. We’re taken aback. But still – we don’t see the opportunity to address the same massive problem the party scene has had for years. Rape culture is a thing.

Other promoters should be seizing this to provide a safer atmosphere for women. Hell, other big name promotors should use this to take to every fucking high school class in the 6ix about photographer etiquette and safe partying. It’s like Canadians just want to ignore the bad stuff and focus on the good; it’s the the worst way to go about it but it’s ignorant. Now I’m writing this unaware if other promotors or events people do try to get their message across. But for the most part, anyone who’s gone through a DARE program, or lived in the party scenes of metropolitan areas, don’t care because it hasn’t happened to them. If it does it’s swept under the table as fast as it happened. Promoters, guys who have worked with Holland, need to address Holland and use this character as an example for newly minted party-goers on how to keep safe. It’s not avoidance, it’s knowing how to find the bouncer or friend to have those creeps arrested. Even further, entertainment companies like INK, need to stop the long standing tradition of turning a blind eye, and start being accountable for what they do. People will drink. People will take drugs. Don’t stop them, offer them a safe place to do so. Offer them the security to know if someone does get in a bad situation YOU WILL PROTECT THEM. Not just brush off allegations like a filthy spot on your white collar. For fuck sakes, be accountable for what happened.

Mark Holland, if he was unique, would be put on a stake. He would be crucified by the armies of women who want to take back the night and see their work be legitimized by safer legislations. No, instead the idea that women who are duped by guys like Holland, just does as a story to protect an industry already on thin ice. How about offering the 6ix some love and do a service in venues and promotors talking about the real world of the party scene. Talk to young girls aspiring to model and be one of the socialite few, a glimpse into the dangers by women who have been there. Offer young guys a chance to talk to promotors who want the best for their industry, by addressing the issue of ego. Stop avoiding the discussion and shout it from the rooftops.

So instead of brunching and awkwardly avoiding the topic, we have to start exposing the bad to provide solutions for the good. You can avoid bad places, but those places and people still exist. They just shouldn’t. Good events promoters like Ken Bryan, unfortunately get grouped into an industry that just is not on his level. But instead of just ignoring the haters, using his power for even more good would help start a revolution in the otherwise scarred party scene.

Start calling Holland for what he is, and start implementing safer tactics for party goers. It’s just that simple.