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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Silence is the enemy of justice
    2017-October-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Winton Dong

dht0620@126.com

THE 54-member board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which includes Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and other celebrities, has recently expelled disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein from its ranks and stripped him of his lifetime membership.

“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over,” the academy said.

The academy’s action came in response to dozens of allegations that had surfaced accusing Weinstein of ongoing lurid and abusive behavior in which he sexually harassed, assaulted and even raped actresses.

Besides Rosanna Arquette, Judith Godreche and a string of film stars from the United States and other countries, Oscar-winners Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are the latest actresses to allege they were victims of sexual harassment by the famous Hollywood producer.

Both Jolie and Paltrow sent statements to The New York Times. Jolie said in the email: “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did. This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

Paltrow alleged that, after Weinstein cast her in the leading role in “Emma,” he summoned her to his hotel suite, where he placed his hands on her and suggested massages in his bedroom. “I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she told the newspaper.

From the statements, we can gather that Weinstein’s harassment of the two famous actresses happened quite long ago. It has also proved that such predatory actions have gone virtually unchecked in the U.S. industry for decades.

Why did these actresses keep silent for such a long time? The Spiral of Silence Theory, proposed by German communication scholar Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann in the 1970s, can well explain the slow and reluctant response of those actresses to harassment. According to the theory, individuals have a fear of isolation, which results from the idea that a social group or society in general might isolate, neglect, or exclude members due to the members’ opinions. Such a fear of isolation leads them to remain in silence instead of voicing their opinions.

Silence is the enemy of justice. Compared with men, women are more susceptible to the opinions of others no matter how famous they are. “I thought Weinstein was going to fire me,” Paltrow told The New York Times in her statement.

Now a Hollywood pariah, Weinstein is facing expulsion from various filming associations at home and abroad. Looking back, it seems satirical that he was so important a person in the industry. Films produced by his two companies, namely Miramax and the Weinstein Company, have been nominated more than 300 times and awarded 81 Oscars.

The avalanche of assault accusations against Weinstein has already extended to U.S. political circles. The Obamas said that they had been disgusted by the recent reports about Weinstein and celebrated the courage of women who had come forward. Hillary Clinton said that she was “shocked and appalled” by the revelations about Weinstein. Despite the fact that these politicians quickly drew a line of demarcation between them and the movie producer, it cannot be denied that Weinstein was their big money giver. He donated to Hillary’s 2016 presidential campaign and has been a major donor to Clinton and Obama’s Democratic Party.

Even in our modern society today, it still takes a great amount of courage for women victims to come forth and speak out about their unspeakable experiences. From this perspective, the actresses’ allegations are not only accusations against Weinstein’s lurid behavior as an individual, but also a denouncement of harassment and hypocrisy in Hollywood as a whole.

To be frank, the Weinstein revelations may be just “the tip of the iceberg.” Such scandals are happening every day, in every industry and at every corner of the world without our notice.

(The author is the editor-in-chief of the Shenzhen Daily with a Ph.D. from the Journalism and Communication School of Wuhan University.)

 

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