Celebrity misconduct continues


Rapper R. Kelly, film producer Harvey Weinstein, artist Drake, and rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine (Left to Right, R. Kelly, Harvey Weinstein, Drake, Tekashi 6ix9ine), all been accused or convicted of sexual misconduct.

Abel Samson, Staff Writer

Public figures are looked to as ideal role models for the youth and many individuals in society. Figures such as professional basketball player LeBron James and actor Will Smith fit this standard, but with the occurrence of recent events, we have been exposed to the complete opposite.

The entertainment industry has been full of sexual misconduct and it has been a reoccurring act since the late 20th century. Big names like artists R. Kelly, 6ix9ine, Usher, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, Harvey Weinstein, and many others have been caught up with the law and facing legal repercussions regarding sexual harassment.

So how common is sexual misconduct in Hollywood? Based on a survey taken by USA Today, 94% of the 843 people surveyed say they have experienced harassment or assault. It is a frightening statistic that more and more people are becoming aware of.
“Many women in today’s society are afraid to report abuse and people don’t understand why and how hard it is for some people,” senior Hlina Wondwossen said. “We fear that we will receive criticism and backlash if we report it. People will say we are trying to ruin someone’s career, but they actually ruin it themselves.”

Of the people who do report their abusers, only 28% of the women say no improvement was made in their workplace, giving women another reason to keep quiet.

Harvey Weinstein, an American former film producer, was alleged to have sexually harassed and assaulted a “large” number of women, including actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd. Among the accusations are that he would force women to massage him and watch him naked. He would also offer the women exorbitant amounts of money in order for them to keep their mouths shut. Allegations from over 13 more women were published in the New Yorker magazine, which included three accusations of rape which he strongly denies.

The sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein that shook Hollywood sparked women from other industries to speak up, and it has reached beyond the U.S. borders.

“The Weinstein Effect” is what people call it, with the hashtag “#MeToo” used across social media. What does it mean? It’s the movement that has rippled across the globe, where women come forward to accuse famous and powerful men and release decade-old accusations. From the UK all the way to India, powerful government officials have lost their jobs due to this movement.

Former R&B artist R. Kelly has been trending dramatically on social media platforms the past few months. Similar to the Weinstein accusations, women have spoken out regarding abuse that they endured from the musician. Kelly’s alleged ex-girlfriend spoke out to BBC news, referring to the “nasty, degrading things” that he did to her in the year-long relationship that they had a few years back. Kelly has a deep history of allegations; he has been plagued by accusations since the 1990s.
Back in 1994, Kelly, then 27, married 15-year old singer Aaliyah, who had lied about her age claiming she was 18. The marriage was declared invalid a year later in 1995.

In 2002, Kelly was charged with child pornography after getting caught with a video of him having intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. The trial took place six years later which caused controversy in the media. “I have lost all respect for him after learning about all the nasty things that he’s done,” senior Haley Moss said. “He is a monster in my eyes and there is no reason for him to not be in jail.”

In 2017 he was accused of trapping six women in a sex cult. An article published by BuzzFeed talks about Kelly allegedly seducing young women. He basically took over their lives, dictating what they eat, how they dress, when they bathe, when they sleep, and how they engage in sex when he records. In 2018, the victims of the cult spoke to the press, speaking on how they were traumatized for life due to the actions that Kelly performed.

Lifetime had their debut for the documentary series, “Surviving R. Kelly”, on Jan. 3. In the series, women emerge and share their stories with the world. They came forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental, and physical abuse. The show has made so much noise that R. Kelly is back under investigation.

Daniel Hernandez, known as rapper 6ix9ine, has also recently been caught up with the legal issues. He was sentenced to four years of probation for his 2015 sexual misconduct case on Sept. 18, 2018, on top of his attempted murder charge, which is 32 years to life in prison. Videos emerged of Hernandez committing numerous sexual acts on a 13-year-old girl at the time of the incident.

“I believe that famous people are privileged and can basically get away with anything these days,” senior Tahid Mamun said.
Hernandez was initially given a one to three-year sentence in prison but was granted four years probation instead. This happens with many famous names and people believe it’s because of the money they can pay to keep themselves out of jail.