Hollywood’s elite exploit their power

March 31, 2020 — by Jeanette Zhou and Serena Li

Hollywood has a dark history of abuse and harassment that has come to light

On March 26, French Montana, a rapper with over a billion plays on Spotify, was anonymously accused of raping an intoxicated woman during a party at Montana’s home in Hidden Hills two years ago. The woman, who used the name Jane Doe, is suing Montana, as well as one of his employees and Coke Boy Records, for sexual assault, battery, negligence, negligent hiring and other damages. 

She went to Kaiser Permanente after the incident and was administered a rape kit, which showed the presence of semen. Doe claims that Montana has a history of inviting women at bars to his house and intoxicating them to engage in sexual acts. 

Hollywood has a long, dark history of abuse, harassment and molestation that has been covered up with the support of many elites in the industry.

On Feb. 24, film producer Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in a New York State prison. While he was acquitted of the most severe charges of first-degree rape and two counts of predatory sexual assault, he was convicted for a first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. According to the New York Times, Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault history started as long as two decades ago. 

According to an exclusive study done by USA Today, 94 percent of hundreds of women surveyed have experienced some sort of sexual harassment while working in Hollywood, with 10 percent of women “ordered unexpectedly to appear naked for auditions.”

When actress Jennifer Lawrence attended Elle’s Women in Hollywood event, she explained the experience she had as a starting actress.

"One girl before me had already been fired for not losing enough weight fast enough,” Lawrence said. "And, during this time, a female producer had me do a nude lineup with about five women who were much, much thinner than me. And we all stood side-by-side with only paste-ons covering our privates. After that degrading and humiliating lineup, the female producer told me I should use the naked photos of myself as inspiration for my diet."

Many women have been afraid to come forward because of the possible consequences that would result from reporting a powerful figure. 

According to the New York Times, Lauren O’Connor, a literary scout at Weinstein’s Company and one of the first people to speak out against Weinstein, stated, “I am a 28-year-old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64-year-old, world-famous man and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.”

In a video uploaded by Sky News, Louise Godbold, a victim of Weinstein and current trauma specialist, expressed that “many women are mourning the careers that they could’ve had … their careers would have been so much more illustrious had Harvey not set about destroying them.”

Luckily, with the conclusion of Weinstein’s trial, people are gaining faith that Hollywood elites will no longer be able to get away with wrongdoings without repercussions.

On March 2, Timothy Hutton’s TV Series, “Almost Family,” which was aired on Fox, was canceled after one season due to accusations against Hutton for rape. 

Last November, model Sera Johnston filed a police report stating that Oscar-winner Hutton raped her in 1983 when she was only 14. Hutton’s response was that Johnston was only seeking attention.

Sera explained that she decided to come forward because of the #MeToo movement, a movement that started in October 2017 and encouraged women to speak up about their sexual assault experiences. 

In September 2019, Disney’s “Best Friends Whenever” star Ricky Garcia filed complaints about sexual assault, one of which was that Joby Harte of Hot Rock Media had allegedly continuously assaulted Garcia throughout his teenage years. 

Shockingly, the allegations against Harte and Hutton were not widely reported. As shown with the many covered-up reports of sexual assault in the entertainment industry, like the many victims of Weinstein, people of power have the ability to control the media and cover up their crimes. 

For a man who has faced more than 100 allegations of sexual misconduct spanning decades, Weinstein was unable to maneuver himself out of all repercussions this time.

In a Deadline article, Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, said, “Harvey Weinstein operated with impunity and without remorse for decades in Hollywood. Yet, it still took years, and millions of voices raised, for one man to be held accountable by the justice system… though he was not convicted on all counts, Harvey Weinstein will have to answer for his crimes.”


3 views this week