Katie White ‘20, Managing/Copy Editor
Convicted rapist and sexual assaulter Harvey Weinstein was officially declared guilty of his crimes on Feb. 24. The former film producer was the epicenter of the #MeToo movement that began in 2017 in protest of workplace sexual violations.
The allegations against Weinstein began as early as 1998 when actress Gwenyth Paltrow said on Late Show with David Letterman, “Weinstein will coerce you to do a thing or two.” Other individuals in the industry also hinted to the public about Weinstein’s criminal and sexual offense through the form of jokes and during conversations while on other talk shows.
The accusations took off in 2017 when The New York Times published stories of Weinstein’s acts of sexual misconduct and harassment, and his settlements paid to eight different women in the film industry over the course of three decades. Since 2017, over 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, misconduct, and/or rape.
Weinstein was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization responsible for the Oscars, which Weinstein has been awarded 81 of for his work in past films. The academy’s Board of Governors declared in an emergency meeting in response to The New York Times’s publications, “[We are sending] the message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.”
Initial charges against Weinstein were filed in the summer of 2018 for rape in the first and third degree, two counts of criminal and sexual act in the first degree, and two counts of predatory sexual assault. The trial began Jan. 6, and he pleaded not guilty to the crimes with which he was charged.
The trial ended over a month later on Feb. 24 after the jury found Weinstein guilty of two of the five charges, and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His victims and all opposers to sexual abuse were able to rest assured knowing that their Hollywood villain would be behind bars for a long time. Weinstein’s crimes will be remembered around the world as the shining example that predatory sexual assault in any form will not be tolerated ever again.
Photo courtesy of indiewire.com