Culture Crash 17-47: Hollywood’s Sexual Assault Scandals

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture. What’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

It has been a turbulent few months for the entertainment industry- especially the film world. Mega-producer Harvey Weinstein has been embroiled in controversy since accusations of sexual assault have been made public. In just a few weeks time, more than 75 individuals have come forward accusing Weinstein of wrongdoing- leading to his dismissal from his own company and a frantic scramble to disassociate the movies his company was working on from his shadow.

Then, accusations against other stars began to break. Dustin Hoffman, Charlie Sheen, producer Brett Ratner, and Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick have all been accused of various sexual crimes.

There’s too many people accused of these crime to list them all, but notably, actor Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of sexually assaulting Rapp when he was just 14. In response, Spacey put out a statement saying he didn’t remember the incident but apologized if it did happen, and then came out as a gay man. The LGBTQ+ community widely criticized Spacey for conflating his homosexuality with his alleged pedophilia and assault. And then more accusations came against Spacey. At the time of recording, at least 14 individuals have specifically accused spacey of wrongdoing.

With these accusations has come a swell of individuals and companies trying to distance themselves from the accused.

None have done so more swiftly than director Ridley Scott, whose forthcoming film All the Money in the World featured Spacey in a supporting role. The movie is set to be released in December, but Scott has announced his intention to replace Spacey with actor Christopher Plummer. The announcement came on november 8, and reports are Scott is determined to re-shoot the role and have the film completed in time for the December 22 release date.

It’s a move that is unprecedented-replacing an actor in a completed film.

If Scott pulls it off, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t- he will completely re-write the narrative of his movie from a film starring an alleged sexual criminal to the movie that took a stand against the sexual crime that has apparently run rampant in Hollywood for decades.

Resources for victims of sexual assault are available at OnlyWithConsent.org or by calling the national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

I’m Evan Rook.

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