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Sexual Assault and Harassment in Hollywood


John from Cincinnati
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Yeah, your situation definitely falls into the realm of harassment.  It is basically a clear cut example of creating a hostile working environment. 

The harassment training I did was really informative, because some things you would assume were harassment aren't, but some of the things you don't assume are harassment are not.  For instance, if you ask a coworker out on a date that isn't harassment.  If you insinuate that their career will be affected by their decision is harassment.  Another thing you should be wary of is that you can be guilty of harassment outside of work.  If you get sloppy drunk and start playing grab ass with your coworker at another coworker's house party, that can be considered harassment.  

The main thing you have to remember is a lot of this stuff has to be part of a pattern of behavior.  If you ask your coworker out and she says no, you are good.  If you treat her hostilely, or stare at her suggestively, or continually hit on her afterwards, you have a problem.  This is where nate's problem comes into play.  Those women displayed a pattern of behavior that made you feel uncomfortable, and them insisting that you participate in their social events that make you uncomfortable is blatant harassment.  Them treating you negatively after declining to eat lunch with them is pretty much the definition of a hostile work environment.  HR shouldn't support that behavior, because that is basically a lawsuit waiting to happen.  

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18 minutes ago, supremebve said:

For instance, if you ask a coworker out on a date that isn't harassment.

Army follows what is affectionately called the the One No Rule. 

It is perfectly fine to ask a co-worker out on a date.  If she says no, that's it.

If you ask her again after she's already said no, that can be considered to be harassment.

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I appreciate this, everyone.  Since that job, I've had that lingering feeling in my gut whenever I'd think about it, but never could really pinpoint what it was.  Some of the stereotypical male cultural stuff kicking in, "guys don't get harassed", etc.  And I know from years of work in mental health that sometimes you can just feel "not right" and never know what it is that's making you feel that way.  Then, in other ways, there's another side of the coin, where, as a guy, I do feel like I have to be careful with how I interact with female coworkers unless I've worked with them for a long time because of being misconstrued.  Dumb male "red pill" stuff perhaps,  but then, like the jail nurse's secretary I mentioned, I see where some female colleagues (even here today) have had such strong anti-male beliefs that - aside from the discomfort of working with them - there's the other side of the coin, where I'm mentally/emotionally back at that university job, wanting to end the situation but trying to hold on for the sake of workplace serenity, but then I'd be all happy on days when the secretary was out because it meant a day I could really relax.

I won't turn this thing into my personal therapy session (that's the awesome thing about being a therapist in a mental health practice ... if you ever need one, you happen to know one), but ... and I seriously could go more into it ... but seriously, if the only thing y'all have given me was this sense of validation, I'd be stoked for years.  But I feel like someone who's house was broken into, but insurance got me this state-of-the-art security system with cameras, touch pads, perimeter fencing.  More comfortable, more aware, I guess?

Hell, anyway.  Thanks for everything, y'all.

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54 minutes ago, supremebve said:

Yeah, your situation definitely falls into the realm of harassment.  It is basically a clear cut example of creating a hostile working environment. 

The harassment training I did was really informative, because some things you would assume were harassment aren't, but some of the things you don't assume are harassment are not.  For instance, if you ask a coworker out on a date that isn't harassment.  If you insinuate that their career will be affected by their decision is harassment.  Another thing you should be wary of is that you can be guilty of harassment outside of work.  If you get sloppy drunk and start playing grab ass with your coworker at another coworker's house party, that can be considered harassment.  

The main thing you have to remember is a lot of this stuff has to be part of a pattern of behavior.  If you ask your coworker out and she says no, you are good.  If you treat her hostilely, or stare at her suggestively, or continually hit on her afterwards, you have a problem.  This is where nate's problem comes into play.  Those women displayed a pattern of behavior that made you feel uncomfortable, and them insisting that you participate in their social events that make you uncomfortable is blatant harassment.  Them treating you negatively after declining to eat lunch with them is pretty much the definition of a hostile work environment.  HR shouldn't support that behavior, because that is basically a lawsuit waiting to happen.  

 

34 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Army follows what is affectionately called the the One No Rule. 

It is perfectly fine to ask a co-worker out on a date.  If she says no, that's it.

If you ask her again after she's already said no, that can be considered to be harassment.

Exactly.  I should have clarified when I wrote last week that, in the training I take every year, it's stressed that inappropriate behavior is subjective BUT it also has to be part of a pattern.  For example, if two male coworkers are making lewd sexual jokes to each other and a female coworker overhears and is offended, it's not necessarily harassment.  If that situation goes to HR, the guys will be asked to stop.  If they continue, then it starts getting into the realm of harassment. 

This also speaks to the ridiculous "accidentally accused" thing.  No HR department worth its salt is going to go ham on a guy for doing something one time (unless he pulls out his dick at a meeting or something).  So how can a guy say something he thinks is innocuous and have his career ruined?   Unless your company has ridiculous standards, you're getting told "don't say that shit again" and sent on your way.

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5 minutes ago, Mickie Zeidler said:

Nate, did you ask your co-workers to stop talking about things that made you feel uncomfortable, or did you just jump to threatening a harassment lawsuit after one incident?

You don't have to bring it up with the offenders.  Bringing it up with the HR representative is enough legally.  If he told anyone in management it is their legal responsibility to investigate the situation.

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My fair city of Chicago had it's own scandal a while back with a cat named Darryl Cox who was a sizeable name in the theatre community. We all knew he was a scum bag, but no one did anything about it. We'd just warn young actresses about working there. Some theater department teachers at the universities here in the city would tell their students about to graduate to be on their toes. This went on for a long time until Chicago Reader wrote an article about it: https://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2016/06/17/profiles-theatre-actor-i-got-75-a-week-to-get-the-shit-beat-out-of-me

Since then every production I've been a part of has been incredibly mindful when putting actors in situations that can be uncomfortable. You'd think sex scenes would be trickier to handle but the last few shows I've done the women have had a louder voice about doing what they'd like instead of getting manhandled. Then again most of the directors I work with are women, so I can't for sure say how it is with the guys running things.. But I've gotten the impression that other dickbags are getting shut down too, so change is possible.

I can't express how happy I am Weinstein got nailed. I've never liked that guy and he's always set my spidey sense off any time I see him. Hopefully Hollywood will do an epic house cleaning but I'm not holding my breath. The Affleck Brothers are still getting work. Brian Singer is still making movies.Haven't even gone after the pedos that are still in the industry who molested young male actors. Harvey Weinstein is a drop in the fucking bucket.

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2 hours ago, Mickie Zeidler said:

Nate, did you ask your co-workers to stop talking about things that made you feel uncomfortable, or did you just jump to threatening a harassment lawsuit after one incident?

I did not "threaten a lawsuit".  It's been years, so I don't have the verbatim reply, but I said something to the HR guy (with my supervisor there) like, "If I'm at another lunch when they talk about pap smears and the looks of male students, do I just continue to sit there, talk to you [HR guy], or is there another step I should go to?"  I do remember her asked me what step I meant, to which I replied, "Someone off campus."

And lets not get it twisted, don't think I "ran to HR" because the female staff were talking in excess about topics that I didn't want to be part of over lunch. When I chose not to eat lunch with them afterwards, I was taken back to HR by my supervisor.

I mean, since you wanted to know. 

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4 hours ago, Technico Support said:

This is an insane company and you should have just left at that point.  HR getting involved in who is or is not making friends is way over the line.

A PSA to anyone: HR is not your friend.  They are there to:

1) Make employees think someone is on their side, keeping them docile and serving as an early warning system to the company, letting them keep tabs on employees who may be thinking of leaving or making trouble.

2) Cover a company's ass, from a legal perspective

So if something is going bad at your company for you, and it's not actionable (i.e. you're not in a protected class and being harassed), your best bet is to get your resume ready and get moving, because HR is not there to help you.  HR will only help you IF you have an issue that you can sue over.

I have a friend who works in HR(among 900 other things at her shoddily run company) and a cousin who works in HR. They would definitely not abuse their positions and just follow whatever the code is for their job to the letter. They're very good people. Great human beings really.

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4 hours ago, J.T. said:

Army follows what is affectionately called the the One No Rule. 

It is perfectly fine to ask a co-worker out on a date.  If she says no, that's it.

If you ask her again after she's already said no, that can be considered to be harassment.

What if you ask out your commanding officer in different disguises every other day like some bad sitcom. Will you do time in "the hole"?

 

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On 10/18/2017 at 11:29 AM, J.T. said:

Powerful Hollywood types are fucking scary apologists.

I'd love to be able to punch people I didn't like in the face and when those people ask other people why I did it, they can say, "Oh, that's just JT."

Years ago, at a work function at a bowling alley, my wife was sitting in a chair and a female coworker leaned over and BIT her on the arm. When she rode people what happened, the response from nearly every person was literally, "oh, that's just Susie" (fake name since I can't remember real one). I cannot wrap my head around any of that. 

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The one time I felt very uncomfortable at the work place there was a female in management who asked me to hang out and maybe wrongly I just gave an excuse of why I couldn't instead of simply saying I didn't want to.  Maybe I should have said I didn't want to.  But this lead to week after week of her asking me to do this or that and many times I really couldn't even if I wanted to because I had a very busy schedule outside of work with school and other personal issues. Then one night I received a text from her and she says she wants me to meet her friend. I told her I wasn't looking to meet anyone right now but instead of her taking that as a no,  she started sending me pictures of her friend and saying "You don't think she's beautiful?!".  So again,  I declined and said no it's just that I'm not looking and I don't do blind dates etc. Well,  she got all pissed off and said "YOU ALWAYS HAVE AN EXCUSE! I THINK YOU'RE LYING" and so she started trying to delegate shit to me that really wasn't my job and giving me more work to do than other people.  I was going to go to HR or upper management but I was afraid they wouldn't do anything and I'd be labeled a bad guy.  But then before I had to make that decision she was fired for something unrelated. 

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I was waiting for it. If he had said he didn't know, he'd probably be dead to me.  I just don't believe some of these male actors who are acting like this is a total shock when most of their friends knew, and they worked with him so much.

His mentality for letting it go on is the same mentality lots of men and women have for letting it go on. Or to borrow Tabe's line "Oh that's just Susie." 

His story isn't totally unlike Brad Pitt, who knew and only dealt with it when it was his girlfriend(Paltrow), but otherwise let it go on. If it doesn't directly affect you, it's not really your problem, and people think like that all the time. Jane Fonda also said she knew, but she never did anything either. He just joins a long list of people that knew, that didn't do anything. That doesn't make it okay, sadly it just makes it normal. And admitting the status quo is fucked up will hopefully allow society to change it.

 

 

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Seeing Taryn Terrell's name in the rasslin' news this morning took me down memory lane. I wish I could find a link to the original tweet:

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 No...if I have to sleep with people in power to keep or continue progressing in my job, I'd rather be poor. @Marcus_R_: @TarynTerrell Do you think you'll ever return to WWE?"

 

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Lou Rusconi, artist of note, made this. His preface: 

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"AMERICA" 18" X 25" acrylic on canvas. Harvey Weinstein and every man like him are America's fucking shame. Every woman should be cherished, worshipped and treated with the utmost respect. This pig is not even a human fucking being in my book.

And here is his piece. 

Spoiler

22549576_10211996170877387_5982332954193

 

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31 (out of 38) women go on the record to accuse James Toback of sexual harassment or abuse

In case you're thinking, "Who?" - his filmography includes Bugsy, The Gambler, Tyson and the Pick-Up Artist, among others. His story isn't any less creepy than Weinstein, though. In some ways, it might be more so, since because he's a little known name, he would carry around DVDs of his movies or articles that were written about him as proof that he was "big time".

Not Hollywood, but Silicon Valley... I don't know if most people have heard about this one, but VR company Upload settled their sexual harassment lawsuit this week. It's pretty gross - apparently they had a kink room inside of their offices.

I just read about the Uber whistle-blower too, and read her entire blog post about it. I'm glad she's moved on, gotten married and is expecting a child, she seems to be past the situation and very happy. While her situation wasn't like all of these other people in Hollywood, it's just as disturbing, especially the Human Resources department bits. It must be truly frightening for someone in her position, always keep records and reporting things to HR, but never getting anywhere because the men who are doing it are the ones in charge.

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In 'Not a Huge Surprise' news, Benny Hill has been posthumously accused of being a sex pest. And also Michael Winner, but I doubt anyone in America would have heard of him. He directed Death Wish. He was a massive twat when he was alive.

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I'm not at all surprised about the Toback and Winner accusations.  Every story any actor tells about Winner in "Electric Boogaloo" just oozes horribleness (especially Marina Sirtis talking about making Death Wish 2 and Wicked Lady), and just something about Toback's work makes it seem like a good probability.

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