Multiple powerful men face accusations for sexual misconduct

By Joe Thornton, reporter

Within the last couple months more than 30 powerful men who are household names in the United States have been accused of sexual misconduct. All of these men were in positions of power over the people whom they have allegedly assaulted.

Some of the names amid the accusations are as follows: Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Ben Affleck and Louis C.K.

The responses and results stemming from these accusations have varied heavily.

Rumors circulated for years about Weinstein and what he did to women, but he was only recently put under a microscope when The New York Times published an article that included multiple accusations against him. The article led to more victims coming forward and as more voices poured in, it became harder to believe the American film producer. Weinstein was recently fired from The Weinstein Company, a company he cofounded with his brother.

Actor Kevin Spacey has been accused with sexual assault of a minor with actor Anthony Rapp who is accusing Spacey of making sexual advances toward him. At the time of the alleged incident actor Anthony Rapp was only 14 years old, while Spacey was 26. Spacey has been in relationships with both males and females but identifies as a homosexual man.

Spacey has apologized via Twitter following the accusation from Rapp.

“I’m horrified to hear Rapp’s story. I don’t remember the encounter, as it was over 30 years ago. But if I did act as he describes, I sincerely apologize,” says Spacey.

Following the accusations, Netflix has cancelled production for season six of “House of Cards” in which Spacey is the lead actor.

Actor and director Ben Affleck was accused of groping actress Hilarie Burton. Affleck apologized publicly via Twitter saying, “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”

Comedian and actor Louis C.K. has been accused of sexual misconduct by five women. He reportedly asked women, on separate occasions, to masturbate in front of them. Louis C.K.’s comedic material often centered around his flaws and his perverted nature. Louis C.K. commented on similar accusations on nonconsensual acts in the past as recently as September of 2017.

“They’re just rumors,” said C.K.

The comedian admitted the truth a month later in October. As more women came forward Louis C.K. eventually released a statement in which he admitted that the accusations were true. The TV network FX immediately stated they would not distribute the film “I Love You Daddy” in which C.K. starred. Netflix also announced they would no longer be partnered with C.K for a second stand-up special.

These multiple accounts and accusations have led to a Twitter movement from actress Alyssa Milano under the hashtag #MeToo in hopes of bringing attention to the overwhelming abundance of sexual assault and harassment.

“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” Milano posted in her tweet.

Within 24 hours the hashtag had more than half a million tweets.

All of this comes after the shock that came from Bill Cosby being accused by multiple women of nonconsensual sexual activity. Cosby was once an idol and was instantly denounced by the public when women began to speak out against his actions.

Since then there has been a substantial increase in the amount of women speaking out against men in power. As movements like #MeToo continue to gain traction and more women speak up, participants in the movement hope to erase the stigma against victims of sexual assault, encourage victims to speak out and let them know they’re not alone.

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