The Hollywood sexual misconduct scandals that started in late 2017 show no sign of abating. After legendary film producer Harvey Weinstein was called out for a pattern of sexual misconduct in October 2017, literally hundreds of women have stepped forward with their own stories of being sexually assaulted, intimidated or even raped by some of the most famous men in Hollywood today. Here’s a list of all the Hollywood sexual misconduct scandals you need to know…
In just the first month after the sexual misconduct allegations surfaced, more than 80 women – many of them actresses and models – shared their own stories of being harassed, bullied and intimidated into having sexual relations with Weinstein. Even worse, this pattern of behavior appears to have taken place over decades. In response, Weinstein was removed from the leadership of his film production companies and stripped of his membership in Hollywood’s prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was Weinstein who sparked the nationwide #MeToo movement on social media, and in many ways, he has become the poster child for Hollywood sexual misconduct.
The star actor of Netflix’s “House of Cards” saw his own house of cards collapse once co-workers and actors stepped forward with their own stories of how Spacey created a sexually-charged work environment on his film and TV projects. Perhaps the most damning revelation came from an actor who alleged Kevin Spacey attempted to have sex with him when he was just a 14-year-old boy, nearly 30 years ago. That allegation opened the door further for accusers, who began to cite incidents of sexual harassment that might have taken place decades ago, but were just now coming to light.
Need more proof that the #MeToo movement was unafraid to take down the biggest names in Hollywood? Look no further than Hollywood legend Dustin Hoffman, who is now alleged by six actors and actresses of sexual abuse. Back in 1985, for example, Hoffman allegedly made sexual advances on a 17-year-old male assistant. In other cases, Hoffman propositioned fellow actresses, attempting to have sex with them in his hotel rooms.
Hollywood director and writer James Toback was already the subject of a blistering Los Angeles Times investigative report into his sexual misconduct dealings with 38 women when another 200 women stepped forward with their own sordid details of how Toback attempted to have sex with them. That makes a grand total of 238 alleged cases of sexual misconduct. To put that into perspective, that means that Toback attempted to sexually harass one new woman, every week of the year, for nearly five straight years!
Some of the charges of sexual misconduct have been more innuendo than formal complaint. Now, some top Hollywood actresses are bringing up James Franco as a potential sexual deviant. For example, actress Ally Sheedy sent out a cryptic tweet, suggesting that Franco was the reason that she left the film and entertainment business. Other women have now claimed that Franco tried to convince them to do full frontal nudity scenes in his films, mostly out of his desire to seduce them. What made the allegations all the more damaging for Franco is that he won a Golden Globe award on January 7. Two days later, he was forced to show up on Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” to deny any wrongdoing.
The documentary director Morgan Spurlock, best known for his film “Super Size Me,” owned up to a history of sexual misconduct that dates all the way back to his college days. His history of rape allegations once again resurfaced, putting Spurlock into the spotlight. Later, Spurlock admitted that he had cheated on just about every one of his romantic partners, including his two wives, and that his pattern of sexual activity was far from normal.
One of America’s funniest comedians also got caught up in a series of sexual misconduct allegations that trace out a sordid history of more than 15 years. The most damaging of those came from two fellow comedians (both women), who alleged that Louis C.K. would often undress in front of them and then masturbate. Other women claimed that Louis C.K.. would call them in the middle of the night, while obviously in the middle of masturbating.
The action hero Steven Seagal has now been accused by three women of sexual misconduct, including one incident in which he used a “casting couch” to seduce a woman and force her to take off her dress. Other women have claimed that Seagal exposed himself to them in a hotel room.
Many Others Accused
That’s just a partial list of all the powerful directors, producers and actors who have been called out on the Hollywood black carpet of shame for a past history of sexual misconduct. These Hollywood insiders have also fallen from grace:
- Paul Haggis – Accused by five women of rape and forcible oral sex
- Matt Lauer – Accused of sexually harassing and intimidating women on the set of the “Today” show
- Jeremy Piven – Accused by multiple women of various forms of sexual misconduct
- Brett Ratner – Accused of raping or abusing several high-profile actresses
- Charlie Rose – Fired by CBS News, PBS and Bloomberg for groping women on the set and walking around naked in front of them
- Russell Simmons – Accused of aggressive sexual behavior, including forcible oral sex and a potential shower rape
- Jeffrey Tambor – Accused of sexually harassing transgender actors
- Ben Vereen – Accused of sexually abusing two women on the set of a community theater production of “Hair”
- Ed Westwick – Accused by two actresses of sexual impropriety
As the Hollywood #MeToo movement gathered in intensity in 2017, it started to take down powerful men in the media and government – including former comedian and current Senator Al Franken, who admitted to forcibly groping a woman in 2006 while on a USO Tour. And don’t forget about former President George H.W. Bush, who has been accused of telling dirty jokes around women and lightly patting their behinds as a way of flirting with them.
While the accusations have been sordid and salacious in many cases, they are important because they have helped to shine a new light on Hollywood. The first brave women who stepped forward in late 2017 have cleared the path for other women to tell their stories. In doing so, they may be bringing much-needed change to Hollywood.