Why Hollywood’s Cesspool of Sexual Deviancy Is It’s Most Prized Currency
As award season fast approaches, we’re reminded of the explosive reception to disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was finally brought to his knees by the registered allegations of sexual assault by actresses, and other victims who worked in a business that puts up a good show when it comes to being venomously discreet.
However, the irony of an industry that has more than normalized the efficiency of propelling through major dysfunction for the duty of giving the masses what they paid for, is the fact that it attracts vibrantly passionate types, that don’t know how to keep quiet when the noise of their betrayal won’t let them be.
Actress Rose McGowan has spent more than a decade, shouting into the abyss about Weinstein’s exploits, and how she was the recipient of systemized cruelty that went unchecked because the climate was never quite ready to receive the downfall of a powerful hitmaker, who could ruin careers with an untidy signature.
And so, the crimes went on without snafus, and the actresses who dared to protest had their trajectories cut short, while distant observers pretended that there was nothing to be concerned about, especially when you’re willing to do whatever it takes to see your name in lights.
We can’t pretend to be totally blindsided by the revelation of sexual deviancy in a town that strokes the egos of pampered stars, hampered by terrifically bad drug habits and a penchant for underaged girls in situations that shouldn’t be permissible, unless consent is granted by those who oversee promising bank accounts.
A fourteen-year-old blushing ingenue can meet a dashing twenty-two-year-old actor on a movie set, and they begin dating shortly after — and thankfully wait until she’s nineteen before embarking on a short-lived marriage.
Why was it okay for a girl that age to date a much older guy without adults intervening or at the very least her actress mother insisting on protecting her daughter from the hazardous job conditions that she knew existed.
There are no restrictions or rules of conduct that are in place to disrupt the flow of creativity or interrupt the millions and trillions of box office rewards that can only be garnered when you let loose and defy the stringent pull of the real world. Artists are meant to explore relations without threats to their craft because that’s the only way the magic happens, and their enablers are also given the freedom to exert their power in the manner of their choosing, especially when so many delightfully impressionable ingenues are jamming the narrow queues.
In an overnight coup, this once acceptable approach was blown to bits, as the script was flipped to showcase revisions that took way too long to implement. The men who ruled with their dicks and the smugness of power trips, were swiftly defeated with public shaming and extended vacations as logistics for their punishment were sorted.
The vindication was palatable and there was a dire need to utilize the blazing red carpets as a grand gesture of appreciation and solidarity for those who had suffered for so long and the ones who were just beginning their never-ending nightmare of unburied memories.
The all-Black uniform at the 2017 Golden Globes was solidly marked by the invasion of validated members of the community, who were finally able to re-activate their statuses in designer duds that reinforced the changing of the guards.
The birth of the #MeToo and Time’s Up initiatives demanded the participation of A-listers who were finally ready to lend their voices and support to the violated spirits that surpass the stained casting couches, because of the depth and breadth of an issue that knows no bounds.
And the cleanup when it came to the cesspool of sexual deviancy was starting to look very thorough as the mighty fell under the guiding light of brave investigators and the invaluable testimony from sensitive accusers, who were willing to risk it all for the salvageable sections of tattered lives.
But this new and not so simple form of eradication can’t be devoid of complications, as months later, there’s still the underlining suspicion that Hollywood isn’t quite ready to give up the debilitating habit of harboring demons — cloaked in dollar signs and the reckless casualness of supremacy.
We thought we all understood what it means when lines are crossed or trust is broken beyond repair. We believed the lie of being on the same page when it comes to what can’t be tolerated versus the awkwardness of a really bad date or pathetic flirting techniques.
The movements that were instituted as the rulebook for the future voyage into the unknown, have failed to fulfill the duties of ownership and guidance, as classic situations come into view, and none of the A-listers are available to console or encourage. And if there is movement within the movements its merely a quick shoutout via Twitter for all eyes to behold and track.
Perhaps, the untitled film in production about the late Fox News honcho, Roger Ailes and the women he wronged, that boasts a plethora of White actresses in key roles is responsible for the noted delays and lack of feedback.
Either way, there is a seediness to how this climate is being managed, and it stems from gross negligence and the lack of character that dictates the items that we choose to tackle and the ones we are comfortably ignoring or righteously mis-categorizing.
The Hollywood community knows how to perform, and they gather where the spotlight is the glitziest, and that probably explains the deplorable behavior on display with a couple of instances that expose how sexual deviancy still remains the most prized currency.
In the middle of summer, when the news broke about James Gunn, the mastermind behind the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, there was panic vibrating amongst the distinguished cast, who were inconsolable at Disney’s abrupt dismissal of their beloved director over old tweets that were dug up by his loyal detractors.
The damning evidence illustrated the sick and twisted mind of a genius who used shitty wordplay to disclose symptoms relating to a disturbing affinity for rape and pedophilia.
The tweets are atrociously vile and massively offensive, as references to “little boys” in ghastly graphic fashion, conjure up images nobody should ever willingly entertain. And yet, the sensible decision to let him go was met with major push back by cast members who would cringe at the thought of leaving their kids in the company of a man who can pollute timelines with such filth.
A petition was started for the rehiring of James Gunn, and within hours, it had almost reached the goal of 200,000 signatures. Some of the stars of the franchise, Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt Karen Gillan, were quick to tweet out their support for Gunn, while urging for a level of empathy that surpasses all understanding.
There was also the fact that Gunn was a target of the conservative media, via right-wing outlets who had successfully completed the mission of his ultimate downfall.
But outside of the politically-inclined attacks is the nagging proof of how the industry operates in the shallowness of personal convictions that are dangerously flexible, depending on the proximity of those accused.
Despite the senseless pleas on behalf of an adult who harbors sexual fantasies that should never be shared on a public platform, and if that happens, his account should be suspended indefinitely — Disney’s decision to remove Gunn from the gold-plated reigns of a valuable ensemble, was not only the honorable thing to do — it was basically the only option.
Thankfully, not all of Hollywood prefers to not put their actions behind their carefully strewn sentences and badges of empty tweets to those they’ve left out in the cold, who should’ve been invited to help construct the mission statements that they personally drafted from experience.
Actress Olivia Munn has detailed her own harrowing episodes with the deplorables of her industry, particularly director Brett Ratner, who she accused of sexual harassment back in 2010, and expectedly Ratner publicly shamed her while denying her accusations.
This time, Munn is fighting for the dignity and grace of an unnamed victim of a convicted sex offender, who scored a low-profile gig in a high-profile movie, directed by his longtime buddy —Hollywood director, Shane Black
Steven Wilder Striegel shared a brief scene with Munn, in the soon-to-be-released action flick, which was standard procedure until she was aware of his deviant past after filming was completed. She promptly ordered Twentieth Century Fox to delete the scene — which happened as soon as the pertinent information that was kept from her and the rest of the cast and crew — was confirmed.
Once Munn’s actions exposed the blatant betrayal of Black, who was convinced that giving his friend a small part in his blockbuster movie was the least he could do to help get him back on his feet, at the expense of those who signed up for something that didn’t include sharing screen time with a sexual Predator (no pun intended).
Despite the obvious vigilance of Munn, who absolutely made the right call once she was aware of her director’s abhorrent lack of judgment, she’s still forced to endure the brutal consequences of being the loud-mouthed outcast, whose only crime was to expose the audacity of Shane Black — who put his selfish interests ahead of those who were paid to trust him.
As the press tour for Predator commenced, Munn was callously abandoned by her cast mates who felt the need to distance themselves from the initiator of a very sticky situation.
Black issued a public apology, but failed to privately reach out to Munn in effort to prove his professed sincerity.
The ostracized actress had to witness her co-stars provide a standing ovation to Black at their film’s world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, despite being aware of how he was willing to risk all their careers for his friend, who was a thirty-eight-year-old man when he used the internet as bait to lure a fourteen-year-old girl into a sexual relationship.
“I looked back and I see the guys standing up, and I was just confused because I hadn’t heard from them during the day. Everybody else was sitting down — it wasn’t like this massive standing ovation for him. I felt it was still appropriate to clap and cheer, but to actually make that gesture to stand up, especially in this moment … and privately I knew that no one reached out to me to say, ‘Are you O.K.?’ It did feel bad.”
But even worse is the isolation that comes with being the only member of a group that’s willing to take a stand, regardless of how high the stakes are because as humans, we must be able to prove why that description separates us from rabid animals who only recognize rewards without the sacrifice.
“I kind of feel like I’m the one going to jail.” “I didn’t go to jail, I didn’t put this guy on our set. I had this scene deleted. Thank God, honestly, that there is social media. It’s the fans and news outlets that’s confirming it to me that what I did was the right thing. If I didn’t have that feedback, I’d kind of go a little crazy thinking, Why am I being treated like this? That’s not O.K., to feel like the bad guy.”
In addition to this summation, Munn also confirmed that she urged her cowardly co-stars to put out a statement, once major pubs started reaching out to the cast, but nobody followed through.
So far only a two of her co-stars have voiced their support, including Sterling K. Brown who reached out with a series of tweets that explained his absence at the premiere, and it ended with his declaration that Munn “did the right thing.”
It’s painfully clear that the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements are both direly flailing when it comes to effectively managing an environment that hosts major players that have the authority to engage their own rules with no apologies or accountability.
There’s also the buzzkill of a community that is filled with characters that show up in costume to play, but disappear when real life demands the same level of adherence.
What’s happening to Olivia Munn, and what’s happening with the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy is the fragmentation of moving parts, that can no longer be cohesive when award shows are over and the spotlight drifts away to signal the end of printed monologues from the lips of lip-lined liars.
What exactly is Hollywood’s agenda when it comes to cleaning house without leaving any residue and why isn’t this question being taken seriously by A-listers who backed their causes with celebratory moves months ago — and yet — the pending bin is overflowing with neglect.
The answer for now, lies in how sexual deviancy is the prized currency that is elevated by the excess of power and the box office receipts, that are needed to hush up those who know enough to stop the money train in its tracks.
The future of #MeToo and Time’s Up is hard to predict, but the survivability will only be positive once the unequivocal embrace for bravehearts, who pass the test of either taking a stand or standing straight up — is warm and lingering — beyond the views of social media.
The Time for reckoning is now.