By Kelsey Duchesne
Rose McGowan has written a letter to Hollywood, but team THINX sees it as required viewing for all. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
On October 14th, McGowan published a series of Tweets about being raped by an unnamed Hollywood executive, which the hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport. McGowan includes that a female criminal attorney told her that she didn’t have a winnable case because she had done a sex scene in a previous film, and that “it's been an open secret in Hollywood/Media”.
The tweets were sombering, and a reminder of how these cases are often in plain sight, but the victim is often encouraged to move on, not to speak up. Even when survivors do speak up, it's (infuriatingly) unlikely that the perpetrator will go to prison. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network reported that out of every 1,000 rapes, 994 of the perpetrators will walk free.
McGowan continued the dialogue on October 17th, when she posted a long note titled “Dear Hollywood” to Twitter. Please read the full note below:
To the women and men in the entertainment industry who know exactly whom and what I am talking about, I say be brave. Do not work with those you know to be offenders or you are no better than they. Take a stand. You are culpable for your actions. Stop rewarding sociopaths. Every time you sanction abhorrent behavior, you are aiding and abetting a crime, that makes you no better than the criminal. How many more stories do you have to hear before you do the right thing and stop rewarding men that are predators? Why are you so cowardly that you would take the softer, easier way out? I can tell you this, your soul is a blighted one if you do so. Your personal legacy, the fabric of your being, is at stake, so fight for it. I know you have it in you to be better. I know you have it in you to break free from the bonds of secrecy. So do it.”
McGowan brings up a great point, one that has always been a bit cloudy in Hollywood: men that have been convicted of sexual assault often continue to work, are well respected, and work with A list celebrities. Reporters often do not ask the assaulter in question or their colleagues about their abuse allegations, and as an audience we turn a blind eye. McGowan is asking the film industry and the viewer's (us & you) to try harder and do better, because turning a blind eye is not only wrong, but harmful and damaging to the survivor.
To read more #WhyWomenDontReport tweets, click here.