Washington, DC – Ashley Judd and several other women have accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment over the course of several decades. Following a New York Times report detailing the allegations, Weinstein issued an apology, but subsequently threatened to sue the newspaper for what he and his attorney characterized as defamatory statements based on hearsay. Hollywood has a longstanding history of and problem with sexual harassment by powerful individuals.
“This high-profile example of alleged sexual exploitation shines a spotlight on a broader problem poisoning our culture, from Hollywood and Silicon Valley to college campuses: namely, sexual entitlement to women’s bodies. Harvey Weinstein may be a powerful and influential Hollywood elite who has portrayed himself as a champion of women, but his alleged misconduct is a product of a culture that instills in many men a mindset of sexual entitlement,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
“In the example of the alleged Weinstein scandal, we see the results of Hugh Hefner’s pornified legacy. The incorrectly perceived right to sexual access to a myriad of women, often amplified by a power imbalance, may be glorified by some as a ‘Playboy lifestyle’ when in reality it is a lifestyle of sexual harassment and abuse.”