Weinstein Isn’t The Only One: Screen Celebs Who Abuse Women or Children
Edited Oct. 26, 2017, to add: When I published this post almost two weeks ago, I thought it would serve as a mental list of celebrity/Hollywood men to avoid — a kind of ethical shopping guide, if you will. I had no idea so many people would read and share it. It has been boosted by people like Geena Davis and Wil Wheaton, and who knows how many others. I’m happy it has received so much attention. But I wanted to add a few notes:
First, this is not a news article. This is an opinion piece, based on available reporting about the people and incidents listed below. I don’t make any money from it.
Second, while I stand by what I said below about not repeatedly using the word “allegedly” on any statement not backed by a court conviction, please feel free to mentally write it in. I do believe there is a place — many places — for “innocent until proven guilty.” But I ask readers to keep in mind that our criminal justice system is fundamentally not set up to protect the victims of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sex bias, and similar experiences. Only 6 in 1,000 reported rapists will see jail time, according to RAINN. The legal bar is so high for many of these acts, including harassment and sex bias, that they have become de facto legal. In other words, just because an allegation/accusation does not result in a court conviction, it doesn’t mean the act didn’t occur. Look at Bill Cosby: more than 50 women have come forward with claims against him, and he hasn’t been convicted of anything. Does that mean he’s innocent?
I say this as a journalist who has reported in depth on these issues, as a sexual assault survivor, and as someone who has observed how the system works.
Third, I’ve had a lot of folks criticizing the way I compiled this list. That’s great! I would love to see others try their hand at putting together similar ones. We need more of them.
Content warning: many of the links in this post contain material that may be triggering to some readers.
Last week, the news exploded with stories connecting Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein with numerous sexual harassment and sexual abuse allegations. As I write this, a “me too” meme is trending on Facebook, in which many folks are speaking up about having experienced abuse or harassment.
When I find out a screen celebrity — either someone who’s on screen or behind the scenes — has been accused of harming women, children, or basically anyone, I do my best to stop supporting them. I don’t see their movies. I don’t buy anything that would put money in their pockets. I’ve had a running list in my head for a while now. In the wake of Weinstein, I think it’s time to make that list public.
An important note: Normally I would include the word “allegedly” next to any statement that isn’t backed by a conviction. I’m not doing that here for three reasons: One, I tend to believe the victim, not the perpetrator. These victims came forward at great personal risk. Two, false reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault are exceedingly rare. They make up 2 to 8 percent of all such reports — but remember, an estimated 80 percent of sexual assaults aren’t reported. Three, these are men with a great deal of social, financial and legal capital who can make just about any accusation against them look like a lie.
This is by no means a complete list of screen celebrities and accusations. And it doesn’t include music or sports stars — those are worth paying attention to, too, but I’m trying to keep this from getting so long it’s overwhelming.
If you know of others, send them my way, along with a link to one or more articles or posts describing what happened.
Casey Affleck: sexual harassment.
Ben Affleck: sexual harassment.
Roger Ailes: sexual harassment.
Woody Allen: child sexual abuse.
Aziz Ansari: sexual assault.
Christian Bale: domestic violence.
John Barrymore: domestic violence.
Brian Bonsall: domestic violence.
Marlon Brando: rape.
Nicholas Brendon: domestic violence.
Josh Brolin: domestic violence.
Gary Busey: domestic violence, sexual assault.
Billy Bush: encouraging Trump’s predatory behavior.
James Caan: domestic violence.
Nicolas Cage: domestic violence.
Jim Carrey: domestic violence.
Louis CK: sexual assault.
Stephen Collins: child sexual abuse.
Kevin Costner: sexual assault.
Sean Connery: domestic violence.
Bill Cosby: raping dozens of women.
Alex Da Silva: rape.
James Deen: rape.
Gerard Depardieu: rape.
Johnny Depp: domestic violence.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson: rape.
Chris D’Elia: pursuing underage girls.
Andy Dick: sexual assault.
Ansel Elgort: sexual assault of a minor.
Michael Fassbender: domestic violence.
James Franco: pursuing an underage girl.
Morgan Freeman: sexual assault, sexual harassment.
Edward Furlong: domestic violence.
Mel Gibson: domestic violence.
Gary Goddard: child sexual abuse.
Tyler Grasham: child sexual abuse.
Armie Hammer: domestic abuse.
Emile Hirsch: assault.
Dustin Hoffman: sexual harassment.
Terrence Howard: domestic violence.
Ron Jeremy: rape, sexual assault.
Klaus Kinski: child sexual abuse.
Andrew Kreisberg: sexual assault, sexual harassment.
Shia LaBeouf: sexual battery.
John Lasseter: sexual harassment.
Curtis Lepore: rape.
Danny Masterson: rape.
Murray Miller: sexual assault.
Jason Mojica: sexual harassment.
Sasha Mitchell: domestic violence.
Dudley Moore: domestic violence.
Bill Murray: domestic violence.
Gary Oldman: domestic violence.
Nate Parker: rape.
Sean Penn: domestic violence.
Joaquin Phoenix: sexual abuse.
Roman Polanski: raping a 13-year-old girl.
Jeremy Renner: death threats, child endangerment.
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers: domestic violence.
Eric Roberts: domestic violence.
Charlie Rose: sexual harassment.
Mickey Rourke: domestic violence.
Geoffrey Rush: “inappropriate behavior.”
Victor Salva: child sexual abuse.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: sexual assault.
Steven Seagal: domestic violence, sexual harassment.
Charlie Sheen: domestic violence.
Bryan Singer: child sexual abuse.
Tom Sizemore: domestic violence.
Wesley Snipes: domestic violence.
Kevin Spacey: attempted rape.
Shane Sparks: raping underage girls.
Oliver Stone: sexual harassment.
Jeffrey Tambor: sexual harassment.
Phillip Michael Thomas: domestic violence.
James Toback: sexual harassment.
Daniel Tosh: rape jokes.
John Travolta: sexual assault.
Donald Trump: raping a 13-year-old girl.
Jan-Michael Vincent: domestic abuse.
Lars Von Trier: sexual harassment.
Matthew Weiner: sexual harassment.
Harvey Weinstein: sexual harassment and rape.
Joss Whedon: emotional abuse.
Billy Dee Williams: domestic violence.
Rainn Wilson: rape jokes.