The Beverly Hills police have announced formal investigations into multiple sexual harassment or sexual assault complaints filed against Hollywood moguls Harvey Weinstein and James Toback.
Weinstein, producer and co-founder of Weinstein Company, has been fired over dozens of allegations of everything from inappropriate and lewd behavior to rape, lodged by actresses and models who claim to have suffered over a span of four decades.
Actress Asia Argento has tweeted a list of 93 women who have alleged that Weinstein sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped them. Argento accuses Weinstein of rape.
Weinstein is currently being investigated by the police departments of New York City, Los Angeles and London, England.
Weinstein has denied ever engaging in nonconsensual sex, though in an apology/explanation published in the New York Times he said he realized “The way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then,” he said.
Weinstein has paid for the silence of at least eight women who had cause for complaint over the years.
More than 300 women have accused writer/director James Toback of various levels of unwanted sexual advances.
He categorically denies ever offering an actress a part in return for sexual favors.
“The idea that I would offer a part to anyone for any other reason than that he or she was gonna be the best of anyone I could find is so disgusting to me,” Toback told Rolling Stone.
Toback claimed the accusations were the result of a conspiracy of liars, saying that the actresses “hear each other. And they gang up. People read things… it’s all, you know, me too, me too, me too, me too, me too.”
Despite his assertions, dozens of actresses have made that exact claim, including actresses Julianne Moore, Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams, and Natalie Morales.
The list of accusations aimed at Toback stretches back into the 1980s.
This is the first official investigation into the accusations against James Toback.
Toback’s use of the phrase “Me, too” is ironic consider actress Alyssa Milano has started a campaign by that name (#metoo) encouraging women who have suffered sexual harassment or worse, to come forward and say “It happened to me, too.”
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
The investigations into these two powerful Hollywood figures who have allegedly abused their positions to take advantage of women is leading to a wider examination of the culture of sexual abuse in Hollywood—and everywhere else.
Actor Tom Hankss told NPR that he hopes the revelations on the sexual predation of producer Harvey Weinstein will bring about a change in morality in the current culture.
“The aspect of ‘Oh this is the Hollywood culture’ … Anywhere there are people in power who think it’s OK to manipulate those under them in a sexual manner under the guise of either helping or hindering their career—that exists absolutely everywhere in Western society—actually, everywhere in the world,” Hanks asserted.
“God bless, that we’re now at the place where there’s going to be—I think everybody’s going to have to define a code of ethics and they’re going to have to start living and working by that code of ethics,” he said.