#MeToo Didn’t Ruin Your Favorite Actor’s Career, They Did That to Themselves
A reminder for anyone upset because they can’t watch their favorite actor on TV anymore.
Trigger Warning: this article contains conversations of sexual assault, abuse, and violence that may not be suitable for all readers. Please read with care.
I am a victim of sexual assault. It happened when I was working at an office and my abuser was my supervisor. The incident(s) happened, and I never reported him for many reasons. The primary one being fear of losing my job. I continued working alongside my abuser in silence for months until I finally quit my job.
I never told anyone it happened until I started writing about my trauma, years later, in the hopes of finding some answers, some comfort, and some peace.
Through writing, I have found it. I’ve found a community of support from other victims who are also suffering from anxiety and PTSD from their trauma.
And then, the rise of the #MeToo movement happened, and I was in awe of how many victims were speaking out.
They were fighting for themselves and for every other victim out there. For the victims that can never speak a word of their abuse for their own safety. For those that can’t find their voice, not yet, or not ever. For those victims that are still a part of the movement, even though they might never come forward, and we cannot forget that.
I consider myself a part of that group because although I write of my experiences here online, I never reported my abuser, and I don’t think I ever will for many reasons that are part of my personal healing process.
And for anyone that is lucky enough to have never faced the predicament of reporting or not reporting their abuser — they will never understand.
But as the #MeToo movement grew, and more and more claims came forward about famous musicians, actors, producers, and politicians, I noticed a really ugly pattern — even in the people I knew personally.
People started blaming the movement, and the victims, for ruining the reputations of their favorite movie stars and childhood idols.
I was dumbfounded. Of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. But when there is proof — witnesses and confessions to said criminal activity — people were still upset at the wrong person.
I heard people say, “Now I feel weird listening to this song. I wish I didn’t know what he did,” or “My favorite song/album/movie is ruined now!”
And I thought, “Well, imagine what their victim must feel like.”
We have to make this clear. #MeToo has been a source of hope; a voice for victims everywhere. It has helped so many people; myself included. #MeToo hasn’t done anything to your favorite musicians or movie stars — they did that to themselves.
If it upsets you when a victim speaks out and ruins the image you once had of your favorite comedian, actor, or musician, please take this the wrong way when I say, you have some reevaluating to do.
Because to you, your biggest problem might be that now you can’t listen to your favorite artists when they come on the radio. Or, that you feel conflicted because you love their movies, but now you feel weird when you watch them, and sometimes you wish “you didn’t know what they did at all”.
But to their victims, their biggest problem is so far beyond your level of comprehension that they wish the biggest problem in their life was not being able to listen to that one song that reminds them of high school prom (or whatever nostalgic excuse people use to continue to support abusive artists/actors.)
When your favorite movie or song feels “ruined” because you have learned that the person who created it is in fact a rapist facing time in prison, that’s normal. Because it should feel ruined. But the blood does not lie in the hands of the #metoo movement, or the victims who have come forward.
The fault is of the person who engaged in criminal activity.
The fault is of the rapist, the abuser, the assailant, the perpetrator of the crime.
You are in fact participating and contributing to rape culture when you make comments like that, whether you know it or not.
So I ask you, please, on behalf of all sexual abuse victims, stop saying that you wish you didn’t know about this rapper’s abusive past or this comedian’s racist rants or this famous movie producer's track record of raping actresses that work for him.
Sure it’s uncomfortable to think about but guess what?
Abuse isn’t pleasant. Gaslighting isn’t pleasant. Violence isn’t pleasant. Rape isn’t pleasant.
If it’s uncomfortable for you to think about the bad things they’ve done every time you hear their music, put yourself in the place of the victims, and imagine what they must feel.
If your biggest complaint is that you can’t listen to your favorite artist anymore, then consider yourself lucky. It could be so much worse and for so many people, it is.
© Jessica Lovejoy 2020. All Rights Reserved.