Identity shown through Media.
Even though technology has evolved and changed much like us, we can always look at those who are more powerful in the world and how they manipulate their identities online. For example, I am going to discuss Harry Weinstein and his story. Harvey Weinstein was a powerful American film producer and former film executive. He and his brother Bob co-founded Miramax. Weinstein was co-chairman of The Weinstein Company from 2005 to 2017.
In October 2017, following numerous allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape against him from over 80 women. All these allegations came after one person vouched to speak up and tell their story, show their identity to the world and whether it was done on social media networking sites or a face to face interview, one identity exposed another’s identity. Harvey Weinstein abused his power and abused his identity to get what he wanted for many years. Weinstein has scared and created multiple actors identities in the film industry. All while his was never truly shown on screen. Like the actors, we got to know the famous names ,grew to love the as on screen characters but little did we know how they got there and who created hardship for them. This has been going on for nearly thirty years and yet it is 2017 and we only get to learn about abusive people in power abusing the identities of women who just want to show the world who they are.
Harvey Weinstein was only the crack in the works, after this scandal was published many other people came forward about many actors including Kevin Spacey and Mark Schwahn about sexual harassment. These all came from just one person sharing their story. Someone’s story is someone’s identity. They are sharing a part of their life with the world and we must recognize this. The scandal triggered a social media campaign, as well as a wave of similar allegations against and ousters of powerful men around the world, called the “Weinstein effect”.
Online identity allowed these men to create themselves a different person to the public eye and brainwashed the public into believing that they are good people just because they “earned” a spot of power in the world. Some of these men’s identities I didn’t even know about until the scandal broke late this year. For example, Kevin Spacey is a homosexual yet he is being charged with sexual harassment of minors. This shows that social media allowed for certain aspects of Kevin’s identity to be keep hidden while on camera, but once a scandal is triggered social media splash Kevin’s identity all over the front page.
Mark Schwahn a famous producer of one of my favourite shows One Tree Hill was also put in the spotlight for sexual harassment claims. Can’t you see one person is all it took to share their story and here we are with multiple claims against multiple big shot producers. The Male cast of One Tree Hill took to Twitter to show their support for the female cast. Fans also of the beloved Television show took to Twitter to show their moral support.
These are just examples of how identity is being abused. So, for a moment take a step back and think do we really know who any of us are? My Answer is no because we are living the reality of others through media all the time, we have no emotion anymore. The more our connective-ness fades away the more we deteriorate as a race. The boarder between reality and representation has collapsed, our online and offline identities could emerge into one or one will take over one at some point in our life. Do we know what the difference is between fake and real news is anymore? News about how people makes Forbes richest list magazine is more popular than actual news of what is happening in the world, but that is what our online identities have led us to read and become a part off.
We have designed ourselves an online identity. Marshall McLuhan Quotes “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” have we created an identity that now shapes us a person? Are we aware of what hyper reality is or are we the hyper reality in general? People live by what the read or write online. Very few people buy newspapers anymore. The right to privacy is a matter of debate in today’s times, what gets spoken and what doesn’t, who gets to publish what? All these questions lead to the matter of who’s who online and what we can do with our computer skills and information to put on a show online.
Whilst being on my Erasmus study in Malta I have learned a lot about the discourse of who we are through social media. I have recently followed the story of a famous journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was brutally murdered for speaking about political views in Malta. I didn’t know Daphne, I only heard of her tragic story whilst I was staying in Malta. Daphne’s death triggered an awful lot of sad, anger and movements among the Maltese people.
Daphne’s identity was splashed across all over the newspapers, her identity became known to the world. She wrote an article, the article caused her identity to only exist through memories now. The reflexivity of stories is based on facts and then analysis. Analysis is our emotions to the stories or how we felt after this tragic event. After an event like this I thought people/journalists would become scared and close in on their own identities, but in fact this unfortunate series of events created an outburst of more media, more voices and more identities to come into the spotlight and be heard.
The truth is that our own identities are shaped from what we read and hear. I know that many people now that thought of the Weinstein company as the best thing in the world will change their view, it will change a part of them and how they believe what is right or wrong this is changing a part of our identity.