Trigger warning: abuse, sexual assault
By now, you’re probably all caught up with what’s going on with Hollywood producer/alleged sexual predator Harvey Weinstein. If you’re not, here you go, because we’re not rehashing the sordid details out here.
Soon after The New York Times released its expose and dozens of Hollywood figures stepped forward with similar sexual harassment and assault stories, Weinstein was fired from the production company he founded with his brother, Robert. Additionally, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Weinstein, making him only the second person in the Academy’s history to be booted.
The sad truth is that Weinstein’s alleged actions aren’t rare, especially for men in positions of power. But Weinstein’s firing is a rare case. Many famous men who are known for abusive behaviors towards women in particular still have successful, long-lasting careers with no consequence. Here are 16 who are still working steadily despite allegations of sexual assault and/or domestic abuse.
In 2014, the director’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, published her account of years of abuse for The New York Times. She spoke of abuse that took place when she was seven years old. While Dylan’s mother, Mia Farrow and brother Ronan Farrow supported her, Woody Allen denied the claims and dozens of celebrities still clamor to work with him. Interestingly enough, Kate Winslet, who is starring in an upcoming Allen film, has denounced Weinstein. Huh?
Instead of being taken very seriously, R. Kelly‘s alleged abuse has been treated as a punchline. Who remembers the Dave Chapelle‘s “Piss On You” video where he mocks R.Kelly’s statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl. There have been many more claims of R. Kelly’s predatory behavior over the years, and his marriage to a then 15-year-old Aaliyah is suspicious at best. More recently, there have been reports that he runs a cult where he held women as sex slaves in his home. In 2013, he headlined Pitchfork Music Festival and recorded a duet with Lady Gaga, who has been very vocal about her support for victims of sexual violence.
In 2009, Chris Brown assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna so badly, she was forced to pull out of the Grammys show where she was set to perform. He has since has multiple, public anger episodes and a restraining order against him from former girlfriend Karrueche Tran. Since 2009, when he admitted guilt to the beating of Rihanna, Brown has had two albums reach No.1 in the U.S. and two others that reached No. 2 and No. 3. He’s also been nominated for multiple Grammys and won the award in 2012.
In 2010, two female filmmakers sued Casey Affleck for sexual harassment on the set of I’m Still Here. According to their accounts, the younger Affleck exposed himself, verbally abused and made unwanted sexual advances toward the women. One woman was forced to resign from the film as a result. The lawsuits were settled out of court and in 2017, Affleck won an Oscar for Best Actor. Brie Larson, the sexual assault victims advocate who had to present him with the award, noticeably did not clap for the man, however.
Turns out the Affleck brothers aren’t all that different. When the Weinstein news broke, actress Hilarie Burton confessed that Ben Affleck groped her on camera when she was an MTV VJ for TRIL. Shortly after her story went viral, video of the assault surfaced and the One Tree Hill star said, “I had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry.” Ben himself issued an apology on Twitter. Though, quite honestly, he could’ve done a heck of a lot more. Around the same time another video surfaced of the next Bat Man acting inappropriately towards a female host of an entertainment show.
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 11, 2017
The director has enjoyed a long and successful career as a fugitive in France avoiding rape charges. In 1977, Roman Polanski was charged with drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. He accepted a plea bargain and when imprisonment seemed unavoidable, Polanski left the country. The Oliver Twist director, who is still a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, has since lived in countries that are unlikely to extradite him. Even so, he’s won an Academy Award for Best Director since his guilty plea.
Photographer Terry Richardson is one of the most in-demand celebrity photographers. Name a celebrity and they probably have had a photoshoot with him. But according to some of his former models, Richardson has used his position of power to sexually harass young women looking to make it in the modeling industry. Celebrities like Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Barack Obama and Beyoncé continue to work with Richardson.
Dr. Dre was at the beginning of his decades-long hip-hop career when he was found fuilty of assaulting TV journalist Dee Barnes. He slammed her head against a brick wall, kicked her in the ribs, punched her and attempted to throw her down the stairs over an interview she did he didn’t agree with. Two other popular female singers have also accused Dre of assault. Since the initial attack, Dr. Dre has won six Grammys.
This man is currently the star of Empire, an Emmy Award-nominated show going on its fourth season. However, in 2001 he was first accused of domestic violence towards his then-wife where he allegedly broke into her house and then struck her twice in the face. Later, his second wife was granted a restraining order from Terrence after she claimed he stalked her, threatened her and beat her to a point of needing medical attention. While the actor has never admitted to the violence with his second wife, he did admit to Rolling Stone that the first incident in 2001 was true, while ‘justifying’ it saying “she was talking to me real strong.”
Clarence Thomas is proof that men can be accused of harassing women and still get hired by the federal government to take over one of the most respected offices one can hold. …Oh wait… Well, we’ll get there later.
With Clarence, it was 1991 and he was a Supreme Court nominee when Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment and making sexual comments towards her at work. Hill was his assistant for two years. When she testified against Thomas in 1991, Hill’s credibility and mental health were questioned. Thomas, on the other hand, has been a justice on the Supreme Court since 1991. We can thank George H. W. Bush for making sure this nomination went through!
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The Olympic medal-winning boxer has been a well-known abuser for years. The first to make national news was in 2002, where Floyd Mayweather Jr. was charged with two counts of domestic violence. He was then convicted in 2004, charged again in 2010 and sentenced in 2011. He recently earned $300 million for his fight against Conor McGregor earlier this year.
In 2010, Michael Fassbender’s ex-girlfriend sought $20,000 in medical bills from the actor after a night in 2009. His ex sought a restraining order after he allegedly threw her over a chair, breaking her nose. She recounted another instance where she claims Fassbender dragged her alongside a car, which burst an ovarian cyst, twisted her ankle and blew out a kneecap. The actor has been nominated for two Academy Awards since those allegations were outed.
In 1998, the Motley Crue drummer served six months in jail for a domestic violence charge. At the time, Tommy Lee had been married to Pamela Anderson for three years. The couple had two sons together and Lee plead no contest for kicking her while Anderson was holding their toddler. Pamela stated after the fact that she did not think her kids were safe with him. In 2014, Lee performed with Motley Crue for the band’s final tour, which grossed approximately $200 million.
In 2003, six women came forward with harassment allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger that went back 25 years. The harassment allegedly included groping, unwanted advances and verbal abuse. One of the women settled out of court with Schwarzenegger in 2006. The news broke five days before he was elected California governor. He served as governor from 2003 to 2011.
When news about Johnny Depp‘s divorce to actress, Amber Heard came out, reports of his domestic abuse crept to the surface, with Heard obtaining a restraining order on the actor. Depp and those close to him denied the allegations, but Heard kept evidence seemingly capturing the abuse on video and in photos. She received $7 million in the divorce settlement and donated the entire sum to charity. Since the allegations, Disney has publicly supported him and continued to feature him in their Pirates of the Carribean franchise. He’s also still signed for the Harry Potter universe flick, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.
When people found out Donald Trump admitted to grabbing women “by the pussy” in a leaked video, the electoral college still elected him as President of the United States with 62,979,879 votes from the American people. He’s been accused of sexual violence by at least 15 women, one of these reports comes from an anonymous woman who claims he raped her when she was just 13. Welcome to rape culture’s peak.