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The Empowerment of Entertainers

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Hollywood is infamous for its drama. No person can deny that, but these past few months have been the brewing pot of allegations against sexual predators who society has unknowingly idolized; a prime example is Kevin Spacey. Unlike the Weinstein allegations, Spacey apologized to Anthony Rapp who accused him of sexual harassment but completely deflected the topic of scarring that individual with his coming out as gay. The timing–like it or not–was off. Spacey seemed to show some remorse in his apology, but he admitted that he did not remember his actions–that it was a drunken mistake.

  He was not the only person to be exposed, nor was he the first person in this country to commit heinous acts. He is, however, one of the few to receive a showcase of media coverage on the absurdity of his statement. I genuinely applaud this man for having the guts to vie for positive responses. Perhaps he thought that by exposing his sexual preference, after apologizing to a man who he permanently scarred as a child, it would help his case in some way. What level of privilege must one reach to expect a lenient rebuttal from us–the social media community–after breaking the law? That’s the kind of audacity that only decades of personal ignorance can conjure. Whatever he was expecting, it backfired.

  So why are sexually predatory acts put on the back-shelf of our minds so quickly? I think it’s no coincidence that the controllers of these situations are usually the industries who profit from the human addiction to technology. As teenagers, our whole lives revolve around drama and social media–we’re banked upon it. We go to the movies to see these actors who we know will deliver entertainment; we know that there is undoubted talent within them, and we watch such  plots of fantasy in order to escape our own worlds and take part in something else derived from imagination. Did we ever stop to consider that we don’t know anything about the actor’s true personas besides what we hear in the tabloids and occasional press releases about a marriage or divorce? We only know them as the characters that they play in specific movies, not as friends, but we still idolize them for their talent, hardly anything in their lifestyles can jade it.

  The sexual abuse of children is an issue we hear about but cannot find a solution to. It is between the victim and the perpetrator to expose the situation. In most cases, the candid expression of these victim’s experiences are only brought to light after years of them living with such secrets and living in fear of threats that they were issued. What usually happens to the perpetrator? They might be fired from their job or scolded on social media, but not jailed. After all, the words of a single victim is still an allegation without evidence. It’s at that point that a victim bottles up and pushes past their experience. But what about those around us? Disregard for a moment the world of drama-consumerism that we’re addicted to; what about the classmate you see across the room? Do you know anything about them, besides what grade they got on the last summative? How do we tell what someone else has been through? We cannot. Not all of us have a platform large enough to speak out. But every once in awhile, one person–out of the millions in this country who struggle with secrets–speaks out. They inspire others to rise up, children, teenagers and adults, forcing the media to cover the evident sense of empowerment from the perpetrator; the perpetrators who the media will only abhor if the American social community does so as well. Twitter has become the war ground for the individuals who don’t receive the spotlight of justice that they desire. They who choose to speak have the power to influence a nation; they have the power to persuade others to share their stories by using such platforms.

  Kevin Spacey, in response to Anthony Rapp’s testimony, added that he was

“inspired” to reveal his lifestyle choice as an individual. It appears that he neither fully grasps the severity of his actions nor understands the disgust that Rapp tried to convey. What is wrong with Kevin Spacey? Perhaps he has grown used to the constant positive media coverage. He has grown used to his empowerment as a cinematic icon; he has grown used to the idea that there are no consequences for one’s actions as long as it’s considered “freedom of expression.”

  The idea that you can get away with something under the cover of being in an emotional struggle is absurd. The very thought of revealing a private part of your life that you had never decided to share until the moment you were alleged with sexual harassment is farcical, ludicrous and everything beneath the kitchen sink. I believe that such individuals require a rude awakening from reality. The tremor of Tweets and news stories execrating Spacey did just that. The reality is that he allegedly forced himself upon multiple people; this isn’t the movies, it’s real life, and there are and should be unavoidable consequences. We, as teenagers who grasp our phones at every waking minute, should take that opportunity to spread the word. Raise awareness. Make a change. Take a stand for those who are scarred into silence.

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The Empowerment of Entertainers