From Matt Lauer to Harvey Weinstein, the world has been rocked by sexual harassment allegations and revelations. And while there’s no telling whether there are more shocks to come, what’s very clear is that we still have a lot of work to do as a society to make the workplace and the world in general a safer place for everyone. Through the experiences of others there are so many lessons we can learn about missteps we’ve made and how we can correct them. Here are top lessons we can learn from the #MeToo campaign.
Their Reputations When They Come Forward
Whether we want to admit it or not, the things people who are brave enough to share on the workplace abuse they experienced or the fraud in the companies face is what keeps so many silent. They are humiliated, shunned and even harassed. In the case of sexual harassment, people tend to blame the victim and try to discredit them by any means necessary. This means that before the perpetrator can even face justice, the victim or witness is put through the ringer for just telling the truth. It’s so important than the men and woman who come forward in order to have protection and support of people around them. According to JF Melton Law, “Whistleblowers take great risks, so getting a reward for that risk is key. It is imperative that they have whistleblower protection to ensure a) the largest reward possible is given and b) the whistleblower is protected under the law.”
Goes Unchecked, Bad Things Happen
The one thing stories like Harvey Weinstein, Matt
Lauer and R. Kelly all have in common is abusers being able to get away with
what they do for decades. Because these people rise to the upper echelons of
society, people often turn a blind eye to their deeds, or the ones that see are
threatened into silence. These unfortunately repeats the cycle of abuse, and
emboldens the abuser. We have to be able to ask questions of the men and women
we put up on pedestals, and take them to task when they do something wrong. If
we repeatedly turn a blind eye, all that does is make them feel invincible and
double down on the abuse.
We Have to
Separate Talent From Character
If there’s anything we need to learn as a society
it’s that an artistic genius or talented person can still be an abuser, and no
matter how talented they are, they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. In
fact, the men and women we look up to as role models have to hold themselves to
a higher standard. They should be examples of respect, good character and
integrity, not people we let get away with anything and everything. If they
decide to display horrible behavior, harassing people and destroying their
lives, we as a society have to speak out against that and stop putting money in
their pockets. We need to stop treating famous and powerful people as gods who
can move through society with no accountability or responsibility for their
We Need to
Have More Conversations
Whether it’s at work, at universities or even in
the privacy of our own homes, we have to have conversations about harassment
and abuses of power. Many victims struggle to come forward because they either
think they did something to ask for the abuse, or they don’t think what
happened to them was an abuse of power. If we were to have more open
conversation about the spectrum of abuse and how it manifests in behavior, we
could raise the standards of how we treat each other. We would make it so much
easier for victims to use their voices. In a lot of companies, employees have
had to discuss what sexual harassment looks like and this awareness actually
makes the workplace safer. We need to extend that to the whole society.
The #MeToo movement lifted the lid on so many abuses and though it wasn’t always perfect, it forced us to start having the necessary conversations that make our world safer for everyone else. When we work for companies, our safety is their responsibility, and just as our employers expect want to be sure that we have integrity when they hire us, we expect the same from them. We expect to be safe from abuse and harassment, to be treated with respect at all the time, and for any incidents of abuse to be dealt with accordingly, not swept under the rug.
Jimmy Bennett says in the documents that the encounter traumatized him and threatened his mental health and career, the New York Times reported.
He had played Asia Argento’s young son in a 2004 film.
In the documents seen by the paper, Asia Argento’s lawyer said that the money was given to Jimmy Bennett to help him, and that it was Argento who had been preyed upon.
In a statement published by Vanity Fair, a lawyer for Jimmy Bennett said his client would not comment but would take the “next 24 hours, or longer, to prepare his response”.
A lawyer for Harvey Weinstein said the development revealed “a stunning level of hypocrisy by Asia Argento”.
Another high-profile accuser of Harvey Weinstein, Rose McGowan, has also reacted to the reports, tweeting: “I got to know Asia Argento ten months ago. Our commonality is the shared pain of being assaulted by Harvey Weinstein. My heart is broken. I will continue my work on behalf of victims everywhere. None of us know the truth of the situation and I’m sure more will be revealed. Be gentle.”
Charlie Rose is one of America’s most respected broadcasters.
He is known for conducting in-depth interviews, including with such high-profile guests as former President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffett, on his eponymous television program which first aired in 1991.
Charlie Rose, whose show goes out on PBS and Bloomberg TV, also co-hosts CBS’s This Morning and is a contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes.
His interviews have won him Emmy and Peabody awards, and he was named by Time magazine as one of its 100 most influential people in 2014.
PBS quickly suspended distribution of the Charlie Rose show following the allegations, which they described as “deeply disturbing”.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Charlie Rose said: “I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed.
“I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken.”
Numerous high-profile figures, including Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman and Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein have been accused of harassment in recent weeks.
The accusations were sparked by multiple women speaking out against Harvey Weinstein, and a subsequent campaign encouraging victims to share their stories of harassment under the #metoo hashtag.