Last year on CNN, “Westworld’s” Thandie Newton spoke about a casting director who took advantage of her when she was a teen.“He asked me to sit with my legs apart, and the camera was positioned where it could see up my skirt,” she said, adding that the director asked her to touch herself, and later showed the footage at Hollywood parties.But it also is one in a series, dropping weeks after the head of Fox News stepped down amid charges of sexual harassment and, perhaps more important, as a beloved comedian faces criminal charges for sexual assault.The multiple sexual assault allegations that began to accumulate in 2015 against Cosby was “a dam breaking in terms of how we really understand sexual assault as an institutional crime of power,” says Andi Zeisler, co-founder of Bitch Media, a nonprofit feminist media organization based in Portland, Ore.Singer Kesha started tweeting in 2014 about alleged sexual abuse and rape by her producer and label head, Dr.Several women had accused Cosby of assault and rape for years, but it wasn’t until a bit in which comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby a rapist went viral that the stories got wide play in the press, and quickly multiplied. Soon the sheer number of women reporting incidents of assault made them impossible to ignore.(The criminal trial, which is scheduled to begin next month, involves a single count of felony sexual assault allegedly committed in 2004.) “Five years ago you would not have seen a term like ‘rape culture’ showing up on CNN,” says Zeisler.“You would not have seen the kind of push-back on pundits who [say] ‘Why didn’t these women come forward when it happened?’ ”Mc Gowan had an answer to that question: “A [female] criminal attorney said because I'd done a sex scene in a film I would never win against the studio head.#Why Women Dont Report,” she said on Twitter.
“We’re now in an era of women making the men who hurt them accountable, of shifting the blame off them and onto the men who inflicted injustice upon them,” says Gloria Allred, an attorney who’s tried a number of high-profile cases involving the discrimination, abuse and assault of women.Allred now represents Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice” who recently came forward with allegations that Trump sexually assaulted her when they were both working on the reality show. To the point that when actress Rose Mc Gowan recently revealed on Twitter that she’d been raped by a studio head, it was not so much a shock as a confirmation, just one more instance of the “casting couch” being challenged by women not in theory but with disturbing portrayals of actual assault and harassment.Although many of these allegations were first made on social media, they are increasingly taken seriously by multiple news platforms instead of simply becoming fodder for celebrity gossip sites.
“Women are no longer bearing the full cost of what men have done to them,” she said.“By women breaking the silence and speaking out in cases like Cosby and Ailes, men are learning a lesson. well, really, don’t.”The now infamous Trump tape, in which the presidential candidate can be heard bragging to an “Access Hollywood” host about his penchant for groping women, was outrageous in its own right.