Spare Me Your Crocodile Tears

This post is going to seem vague, so let me begin by explaining why. What I want to talk about isn’t an individual, but the culture that has enabled, empowered, and sheltered that person. If I name any names, then the conversation becomes about him (a symptom, a manifestation). I’d rather address the problem (the disease, the culture). It has happened before. Should I name the person, you might tune out. His particular sphere of influence might not be relevant to your interests. I also don’t want to give him any publicity. This is for the same reason I don’t think the media should plaster the names and faces of mass shooters everywhere. He deserves to be forgotten. The environment that allowed him to flourish needs to be remembered. That way maybe this garbage doesn’t continue to repeat itself.

People have been saying for years that this is a garbage person. Not as part of a whisper network, either. Receipts have been openly posted in public spaces, showing in detail and with ample corroboration that this abusive, gaslighting monster engages in a regular pattern and practice of being a garbage person. For years, his friends have made excuses for him. His accusers have been dismissed and ignored at best, harassed and attacked and forced into silence at worst. The industry has continued to employ him, more interested in the following he brings along than in the ethics of giving a garbage person a larger platform. When presented with evidence, they shrug and declare it inconclusive.

Spare Me Your Crocodile Tears

As seems to happen in every single one of these cases, a tipping point was reached. A victim wrote a compelling article detailing his abuses. She included statements from two other women. This has gone viral. And everyone is shocked, shocked I say, that this person they thought they knew, this professional colleague, this prominent figure in the industry, this man that they called friend, is (allegedly, he says for legal reasons) a psychopathic serial rapist.

People who have defended him, shielded him, and attacked his accusers for years are now falling over each other to distance themselves from him. They’re claiming that they didn’t know. There are social media posts and blog posts flying up as fast as these people can type. Silence for years, in the face of evidence and allegations, but once the rock has been turned over and there’s no denying what has been going on all along, now they find the courage to speak out. Not to support the victims. To cover their own asses.

This happened in my industry. Over the past few years we’ve seen the exact same thing happen in all forms of entertainment. Comedians, newscasters, actors, producers, directors, singers, musicians. It’s the same pattern. People knew it was happening. They ignored it, the covered it up, they wanted to money and the audience that the garbage person could pull in. Then the rock was turned over, the awfulness was exposed to the light of day, and that’s when they choose to disavow the monster.

We keep getting mad at the monsters. What we need to do is start holding the enablers accountable.

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5 Comments

  1. It’s easy to hurl accusations and vilify, especially on the Internet… but make sure that you get it right. I’m loathe to attack anyone because the consequences are dire. If there’s a genuine grievance, the correct recourse is to the legal system of the appropriate jurisdiction, not a hate campaign online.

  2. I find Megan’s comment interesting, considering that you have not named the person. Perhaps the comment about enablers hit home?

    The legal system often has offered little or no recourse to those abused in such situations.

  3. Megan is peripheral to the industry and knows who I’m talking about. She has access to the same information I have.

    Legal recourse doesn’t work when you report it to the proper people and are not believed. Or ignored. Or told that he’s important and you’re not, so don’t make ways. This is similar to the Cosby situation. Women have been reporting, and documenting, and providing evidence for years. And still some people are dismissive.

  4. This morning a fourth woman came forward to hurl accusations and vilify as part of the online hate campaign. No, wait, she came forward to tell her story of abuse, and essentially corroborate the story of the first three women, because she was there.

    Rather than warning people that he’s a monster so they can stay clear and stay safe, and so publishers and creators know who they’re doing business with so his actions don’t tarnish their reputations, we’ll sit here quietly and await legal recourse through the proper channels.

    I’m so goddamned angry right now, because the reason these situations become so horrific is because people DO report this, they are ignored, which emboldens these men to not only keep going but to escalate their monstrosity because they’re learning that they can get away with it.

  5. It’s the torrents of hatred that I am finding distasteful and disturbing. If a wrong has been done, then it needs to be set right. But two wrongs don’t make a right. Hate is never right. Object to the sin, but love the sinner. We should be better than this.

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