Every day now, some powerful man in the movie or television or music or political business is outed as an abuser of some sort or another.
Guys who try to get their assistants, fans and fellow actors and actresses to perform oral sex, guys who grab asses, guys who attempt to trade professional success for a quickie and in some instances try or succeed in raping someone.
I must report that I had never, not even once, watched the Today show with Matt Lauer so truthfully, I don’t give a shit about him. I know who he is from all the news about him, but I would not have known who he was if he walked right past me the day before the news broke. I am not completely out of the loop; quite the opposite. I just do not happen to have the time or inclination to watch garbage like the Today Show, Oprah or other gossipy shows that air while I am waking up in the morning or at work.
Likewise, I would not have known who Harvey Weinstein is had you asked me a day before the news broke about him. I suppose that I had heard of him as a producer, but he’s not exactly Tom Cruise or The Rock, someone who you see in movies, commercials, on magazine covers and in every Internet news feed that exists. I had never seen Weinstein’s ugly mug prior to the story about him in October.
Since Weinstein was accused, thirty-four additional prominent men have been likewise accused of sexual misconduct. Al Franken, Louis C.K, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Garrison Keillor and many others have been outed for their past misbehavior.
Even old George H.W. Bush has been named as a groper. I am sure that the accusations will continue. They are probably just getting started.
Last week, I thought hard about how much of this is the way of the world: powerful men wanting to and usually having their way with subordinate women. Heck, I believe that the current President of the U.S. is quite possibly a rapist.
I also thought hard about who I would be surprised about if he was to be accused of sexual misconduct.
Nothing against many, many other male celebrities, but would you be surprised to learn that Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey, Jr., Mark Wahlberg or Johnny Depp forced themselves upon a woman at some point?
I posed the question to my wife, who said that with many of today’s stars, it would be surprising if someone like Matt Damon or Brad Pitt did anything like that in the past ten years or so, but who knows what they did in their twenties?
There were three names that came to me after ruminating on it for a while, the three being Tom Hanks, Will Farrell and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. If one of those three is accused, then I might never like an actor again.
He’s not nearly on the same par as those movie stars, but Neil Flynn plays my alter-ego, Mike Heck, on a TV show that I sometimes watch with my wife, The Middle. I would be shocked if a woman (or man) accused him of sexual misconduct.
Of course I realize that the roles these actors play are entirely scripted from word one to the end. None of the actors are as great and honorable as they are portrayed on screen, but if Tom Hanks is a molester or harasser or rapist, then I will never trust a Hollywood star again. I’m not saying that I would leave my daughter at one of those three men’s homes overnight, but I would be shocked if any of the three were accused.
Just as shocked as learning that Bill Cosby was a serial abuser.
It will be interesting to see who is named this week.
For regular guys like me and you, it reminds us to be careful what we say in the workplace. I am certainly in no position to wield my influence or power over a subordinate woman, having no subordinates or favors to grant like a powerful movie producer or morning show anchor would have. That does not mean that I would behave like one of these accused men, because I simply would not. My brother would not and my son would not, either.
My parents raised me better than that!