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comment by elizabeth
elizabeth  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Louis CK's powerful army of enablers

That's too bad. I've always liked Louis's comedy because of the perspective he brought to controversial topics. But now that the allegations are out, stuff he has said have taken a really gloomy turn in retrospect. It's just not at all funny with the new context...

Queue living in fear my other favourite comedians will get accused of sexual misconduct soon? It's just revolting how it has all been ignored and covered up in the industry. Surely living in the public eye would make you more concerned about covering up other people's misconduct? Look at all the shit John Stewart is getting for lauging off the matter when asked about it. Would it not make more sense to blacklist the rapists and assaulters, if only for the potential bad repercussions on your career?

veen  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    “I apologize. I’m not that connected to that world,” Stewart added, turning more serious. “I don’t know what you’re talking about but—I can’t really answer. I don’t know what to say.”

    “All I can tell you is I’ve worked with Louis for 30 years and he’s a wonderful man and person and I’ve never heard anything about this,” Stewart said before Axelrod ended the show. “We’ve all known Bill Cosby was a prick for a long time, so I don’t know what to tell you. But I didn’t know about the sexual assault, but you’re right, it’s important.”

Link. Kind of unfair to give him flak for that if you ask me - responding with a chuckle to a weird allegation that seems to come out of left field is not "deeply problematic", even if the subject matter is.

(P.S. I think it's "cue", not "queue")

elizabeth  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oops yes, it is Cue.

I was taking more about the industry's general attitude of dismissing such accusations as "just rumours" way too readily . Of course I get that as celebrities false rumours to get attention are a thing. But when someone gets repeatedly accused, and you have ongoing work with that person... why don't more people distance themselves if they personally find the claims believable? You know, as a sign that this kind of behaviour is not OK.

With Weinstein, Spacey, (less so) Louis CK is was clearly going on for way too long with people around actively covering their tracks...

kleinbl00  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    We were heartened to see the immediate, powerful consequences of the Weinstein effect across the American entertainment and media industries. But we weren’t really expecting the phenomenon to quickly make the jump to London.

    And we certainly weren’t expecting it to threaten the stability of the British government or the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

    And yet here we are. In the wake of accusations that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and assaulted multiple women, women began to come forward with their own stories of harassment at the hands of British politicians. Prime Minister Theresa May has already lost one cabinet minister to the scandal, and dozens of other Conservative M.P.s have been accused of harassment and assault, as have multiple officials from other parties.

    Ms. May does not have a majority in Parliament, and was already struggling to move forward with the negotiations of how Britain will leave the European Union. If accused lawmakers from her party are forced to resign, she could lose her ability to govern at all, leaving the future of Brexit even more uncertain.

    All about equilibrium

    As we watch the powerful consequences of the Weinstein effect, we keep getting reminded of a very different news story we have been covering over the past year: Brazil’s widening corruption scandal.

    It, too, involved widespread bad acts that were an “open secret.” It, too, was enabled by a code of silence and a hierarchy of powerful people that protected perpetrators. And when the corruption came to light, it, too, threatened a government’s stability.

    And so perhaps research on systemic corruption can help us understand the escalating consequences of harassment accusations around the world.

    Social scientists who study corruption say the one critical thing to understand is that it is perpetuated by a “corrupt equilibrium.”

    When people see bribery tolerated, even rewarded, they begin to assume it is the way things are done in that system. They realize that speaking out would mean taking on a whole system of powerful people, not just a single bad actor. And so, fearful of the consequences, they stay silent. And so the equilibrium perpetuates itself.

    That seems to be what happened in Brazil, where the scandal has ensnared much of the government and opposition. It seems many people were aware of what was going on, even if they weren’t taking bribes themselves, but did nothing because they feared the consequences of speaking out.

    The Harassment Equilibrium

    Sound familiar?

    The signs are there that harassers were enabled and protected by a similar kind of equilibrium in the halls of Westminster. (And in Hollywood. And TV news. And magazine journalism. The list grows every day.)

    Ben Kentish, a reporter for The Independent, a British newspaper, wrote that harassment was widely known, but that lawmakers kept silent about their abusive colleagues because “the sense of loyalty to their party and their colleagues, or to their own political ambitions, trumped their concern for junior parliamentary staff.” Junior staff members, he said, kept silent because they feared for their jobs.

    And many have said that the problem was endemic across all parties. Kavya Kaushik, a former activist and candidate for Britain’s Liberal Democrat party, wrote on Twitter that she had been groped by a lawmaker, but that a party official dismissed her reports and pressured her to continue canvassing with her abuser. “Young people in politics are brainwashed into tribalism and convinced to stay quiet for the good of the party,” she wrote.

    In other words, if the accusations are correct, the British political system had developed an equilibrium that tacitly protected and perpetuated sexual harassment across multiple political parties.

    The Long-Term Costs

    In the case of corruption, the cost of a damaging equilibrium can be measured in bribes paid, economies distorted, witnesses silenced. And in the case of harassment and assault, it can be measured in bodies and minds damaged, careers destroyed and trust shattered.

    But because they infect whole systems, they also cause damage when they are finally broken.

    In Brazil, corruption spread so widely through the political system that when the reckoning finally arrived, the entire political system came to be seen as implicated by association. The country has been wracked by protests. Public trust in the government is at a record low. And parties that relied on politicians who have been tainted by the scandal are now struggling to restore institutional stability.

    The consequences of breaking the harassment equilibrium turn out to be similar. As perpetrators are accused, they are taking their projects, colleagues and organizations down with them.

    Hollywood studios are rushing to distance themselves from Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and others accused of sexual harassment and assault, and movies and television shows centered on those senior figures are now in jeopardy. A new magazine to be built around Leon Wieseltier has been cancelled after multiple women accused him of harassment.

    And in Britain, Ms. May’s government and other political parties are now struggling to contain the damage of harassment that went ignored for years.

    When systems protect bad behavior, they ultimately put themselves at risk.

This morning's "Interpreter" from the New York Times

elizabeth  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The effect rippled all the way to Montreal too:

It's undeniable there has been a big surge in accusations being brought forward. And this whole equilibrium thing makes a lot of sense. It might be naive of me, but such an equilibrium seems kind of counter-intuitive in a way? Let's say 5% of people are horrible rapists in Hollywood. There is not much advantage for the 95% of non-rapists to help them camouflage their actions. There is always a risk those people will get caught. And then the non-rapists get punished too by association (think of all the other people working on House of Cards, or co-stars in Louis CK's new film).

I guess it's hard calling the shots when you're new to an industry and are trying to make it there. But once you have a more established career, why risk working with someone with a bad reputation? I'm sure Netflix could have cast someone else for the role. But I guess the secrecy of it, makes it easier to ignore. What if they are just rumours

But hopefully after the Wiestein effect settles down, it will change the industry's practices at least a little.

goobster  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Let's say 5% of people are horrible rapists in Hollywood. There is not much advantage for the 95% of non-rapists to help them camouflage their actions.

Except those 5% have the ability to decide whether you get that starring role in their next (fill in the blank), so yes, over time, people have Done Things to ensure they got the role/job/gig/money.

So yeah.... the 95% want to be the 5%, and you don't get into that club if you start calling the members of the 5% sick sexual predators and rapists.

kleinbl00  ·  252 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Fuck "starring role." Those people have the ability to decide whether or not you get a catering gig. They have the ability to decide whether you're a PA or a Key Set PA. They have the ability to decide whether they're renting lights from you or not. They have the ability to decide whether your rent is going to be covered reading shitty scripts at $20 each or donating plasma.

The problem with endemic corruption is it's endemic. I had an Indian friend tell me that the process of governance and permitting in India is determined by how sweets boxes full of money. If you've got one corrupt official you can go to an uncorrupt official. If you've got every corrupt official you accept the corruption. What else can you do?

And let's suppose that 5% of Hollywood are sick sexual predators and rapists. Let's assume every person in Hollywood knows at least one other person in Hollywood on a more than cordial level. That means somewhere between 5% and 95% of Hollywood are enablers. They're accepting the corruption because what else can you do?

You start taking sweets containers full of money. After all, that's the way the system works. Sure - you're not going to rape because you can get away with it. Masturbate in front of women?

Somewhere, both Harvey Weinstein and Louis CK got the idea they were allowed to do that. So you're not going to insist upon sweets containers with bills in them before anything happens... but if you don't get one, you're not going to help the citizen in front of you. Maybe you aren't going to count the money in front of people. But you're not going to act surprised when it lands on your desk. But all of a sudden, the whole world has its panties in a twist over corruption... and in a Weinstein world, everyone reading this is wondering if I'm allowed to say "panties in a twist" anymore.

Never raped anyone. Never so much as propositioned anyone on set. I believe I have complimented hair and attire before ("love the boots"). However, I had a lady get ornery at me once over my use of "he" and "his" instead of "she" and "hers." To her, I'm the patriarchy.

Wildfires rarely burn only rotten wood.