Three years ago on October 5th, the New York Times article “Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Harassment Accusers for Decades” exposed nearly three decades of allegations against Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer and one of the most powerful men in Hollywood for decades. Many of the allegations included bribery of receiving a better position for submitting to his sexual advances, such as watching him shower or massaging him while he was naked. Shortly after the article was published, he apologized and was fired from his company. Rose McGowan became one of the most prominent accusers, as well as over 90 other women who came forward to share their alleged experiences. Salma Hayek even said that after she repeatedly refused his sexual advances, he threatened to kill her.
Ashley Judd sued Weinstein for damaging her career on May 1st, 2018, because she rejected his sexual advances but on January 9th, 2019, Ashley Judd’s lawsuit was dismissed. 6 women testified in the rape trial, with Justice James A. Burke presiding over. Miriam Haley testified that Mr. Weinstein forced oral sex on her and Jessica Mann gave an emotional speech about her rape. Harvey was given 10 minutes to speak and said that he thought the relationships were consensual and felt remorse, but he was trying to be a better person. Burke didn’t believe any of that. Although Harvey could have received a minimum of five years in prison, Burke decided to increase his sentence saying, “There is evidence before me of other incidents of sexual assault involving a number of women”. The jury acquitted two serious charges against Weinstein: two counts on predatory sexual assault.
Finally, after decades of allegations, Weinstein has finally gotten what he deserved. einstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison. After being handcuffed and led to Rikers Island, a jail complex, he experienced chest pains, had high blood pressure and heart palpitations, and was quickly hospitalized. His poor health and as he is at the age of 68 years, may mean he’ll spend the rest of his life in jail. Whether Harvey Weinstein dies in jail from old age, from COVID-19, which he tested positive, or he still lives out his life, we can all agree that he deserved to go to jail for his crimes.
This trial was considered a step in the right direction for the #MeToo movement, a movement where sexual harassment survivors came out with their stories with the hashtag MeToo and empower others. This is a prime example of how women are supporting other women; when the allegations came out, it gave others the strength to testify against him as well. Although his harassment had already lasted too long, women are finally taking down big corrupt bosses and will continue to stand up and speak out. This has only given victims more fuel to their fire when they can see that justice does get served.
By Amy Yao
Categories: JMM Opinions