Stop Saying Your Movies Are Ruined!!!
Before I decided to write this article, I struggled with the notion of doing it at all. While the topic I’m about to discuss is nothing new, the impetus behind it is less than savory. The recent allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and outright rape against (former) Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein are beyond reprehensible. The fact that a sexual predator like Weinstein would be allowed to continue to work in a position of power, when multiple people–high profile people–knew about it and when the company ITSELF covered up for him, is beyond the pale.
And it was merely the beginning.
In the weeks since the story broke there’s been allegations against Andy Dick and Dustin Hoffman. Moreover, Terry Crews confessed that a Hollywood big-shot, groped him at a party* and even Corey Feldman came forward stating this behavior has occurred for decades.
And of course there was Kevin Spacey, one of the greatest actors of the last twenty-five years. The vile, disgusting things that have come out, beginning with his (alleged) sexual assault against actor Anthony Rapp when Rapp was fourteen–man if you’re not shaken to the core by his behavior, I question your moral compass. Spacey’s career derailed so quickly that in less than a week, production on the final season of House of Cards went from taking a hiatus, to the disclosure that Spacey had created a toxic work environment for half a decade, to questioning whether they should kill off the Frank Underwood character altogether, to Netflix completely severing ties with Spacey.
If there is one ray of light to gaze upon in the midst of this debacle, it’s that it’s encouraged both women and men (especially women) in Hollywood to reveal their own experiences with sexual harassment and assault. Moreover, it’s encouraged those in society at large to come forward. The only way we purge these piles of refuse posing as humans from Hollywood and society is if the victims come forth. Anyone out there who has had the courage to come forward and tell your story, God bless you. Let your voice be heard loud and clear!
At this point I hope I’ve made my position perfectly clear because I want to get to the crux of this post. As more and more stories come forth, I’ve noticed a distinct correlation between the sexual assault/harassment allegations and the movies those people were associated with. Bear in mind I’m not just talking about future projects but previous projects as well. Namely, movie fans saying things like, “I’ll never watch Baby Driver again because Kevin Spacey was in it!” Or, “Good Will Hunting and Django Unchained are ruined because Harvey Weinstein was associated with them!” I saw one person go so far as to say they were pissed that because of Spacey’s actions, they now had to take every Kevin Spacey film out of their regular film watching rotation.
Now I kind of understand the idea of not wanting to pay to see next year’s Billionaire Boys Club when the male lead (Kevin Spacey) is a giant scumfuck. The truth is there for all to see now.
What I don’t get is people saying they’ll never watch films that these actors have already made ever again. This means films such as: Baby Driver, L.A. Confidential, Se7en, Rain Man, The Graduate, Sleepers, American Beauty, Chicago, Pulp Fiction, The Aviator, and The Imitation Game among others. These are all films that Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, or Harvey Weinstein have all been involved in. I’m not including Andy Dick here because seriously, who gives a shit about Andy Dick movies?
All of the films mentioned are great in their own right and some are downright classics. The idea of never watching these films again, or that somehow the film is “ruined” because one high profile person was a horrible human being, is ridiculous to the point of absurdity. That’s like saying because one time the French Onion soup I got at a restaurant was cold that I should never eat soup again. Furthermore, the whole idea is illogical for one simple reason:
The particular person or persons who participated in this type of behavior AREN’T THE ONLY ONES WHO WORKED ON THE MOVIE.
Let’s take The Usual Suspects for example, the film Kevin Spacey won his first Oscar for. Guess who else was in that movie? Benicio Del Toro. You may have heard of him, he’s made a few movies in the twenty-two years since the film released. Besides acting, Mr. Del Toro is a spokesman for Yo Limpio a Puerto Rico an environmental organization that promotes recycling in Puerto Rico. Del Toro is also active for charities such as GLAAD and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. So I must conclude that anyone who refuses to watch The Usual Suspects is pro-AIDS.
Or how about Pulp Fiction? It’s a classic right? Re-launched the career of John Travolta and brought Quentin Tarantino’s genius into the limelight. It was also the first of many films for the future Mace Windu, Samuel L. Jackson. At last count, Jackson supports no less than 26 (count ’em) charities including Stand Up to Cancer and the Amber Watch Foundation. But uh-oh Pulp Fiction is a Weinstein company movie! You have to take it out of your rotation! Guess you don’t care about kidnapped kids.
And man A Time to Kill? Art Director Richard Toyon must be a real asshole to even have been involved with that project. The casting directors, Fiona Weir and Mary Selway, must be horrible human beings for working on Master and Commander. Ditto Arno Neubauer, the line producer for The Reader. All of them total scum.
At this point I hope you are picking up the sarcasm I’m laying down.
I mean the logic in the hard-line stance people have taken makes about as much sense as…well…this ad:
It makes zero sense that this is the hill some people have chosen to die on. You may want to ask yourself how exactly does this solve the problem of sexual abuse and harassment in the world at large? Short answer: it doesn’t. What DOES is contributing money to women’s organizations. What DOES is volunteering at a shelter for sexually abused and battered women**. What DOES is raising your sons and daughters to be men and women who respect others. What DOES is being a friend to someone in your own life who may have experienced the attacks of sexual predators from people like Spacey and Weinstein. Take your outrage and channel it into something productive.
Because believe it or not, it IS possible to love Hear No Evil, See No Evil and simultaneously detest the actions of Kevin Spacey.
The two can be mutually exclusive.
*Seriously though, who has the balls to come up to Terry ‘effing Crews and grab his package. Not only is the act reprehensible, you have to be certifiable to even ponder such an action. Kudos to Crews for keeping it together because God knows I don’t think I could have. The man is a national treasure.
** If you are a victim of sexual abuse here are some numbers you can call: 1-800-656-4673 (United States) 1-800-737 -732 (Australia)
If you want to make donations for victims of sexual assault: https://www.rainn.org/
You can follow me on Twitter at @DarthGandalf1