America has been rocked in 2017 by a litany of allegations against powerful media magnates, specifically outing those who have conducted themselves in an abhorrent sexual manner.
In Hollywood, the dam broke when allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein went mainstream, granted, after decades of whispers and shrugs. Weinstein’s accusers, all 60+ of them, were finally being taken seriously, and the formerly invincible movie mogul was served a small sliver of the justice that he deserves after such a long and unstoppable streak of sexual improprieties.
This opened the floodgates for Hollywood, as accusers emerged from their shame caverns to hand out well-deserved torches and pitchforks, essentially sending a signal to the abusers of Tinseltown: This will not stand, and you will be outed. Soon, directors, actors, and even some musical acts were facing retribution for their years of abuse.
Now, one left leaning news organization is taking their turn in the hot seat after a number of female staffers described an institutional culture of sexual harassment.
“In the summer of 2015, Phoebe Barghouty was 23 years old and had a new master’s degree in journalism from Stanford—but little other experience—when she landed what most of her peers would consider a dream job: associate producer at Vice’s Los Angeles bureau.”
That “dream job” was nothing of the sort, with Barghouty routinely being spoken to and treated inappropriately. Eventually, the young woman had had enough.
“Months into her new job, Barghouty says she went to a human-resources representative to voice her concern about the touching and the parties. ‘When it comes to talent, we can’t really tell them what to do,’ Barghouty said she recalls being told. ‘They bring in the money and attention and you just have to deal with it.’ (The representative disputes this account.)”
“And so she did, until after a fall editorial meeting with the East Coast office in which she says she asked the producers on the other end of the call to quiet down so she could finish a pitch. Following the call—which went well, she thought—she says Larsen held her by the arm and said, ‘If you’re going to get anywhere with Vice guys, you’re going to have to be a lot sweeter.’”
The supposedly progressive news and media outlet has issued a statement on these claims, and it reads much like the bland “apologies” being issued by Hollywood.
“Vice issued a statement to The Daily Beast that read: ‘The nature of Vice’s content runs the gamut, from travelogues and news series to more provocative programming like our shows exploring drug culture, Weediquetteand Bong Appétit. A non-traditional workplace agreement is often used by companies to certify employees’ comfort with content that could be considered edgy. However, it does not in any way sanction conduct that is disrespectful or biased, and we will investigate all allegations of such behavior, including any incidents where employees purportedly attempted to justify their conduct through the agreement. We have immediately begun reviewing this matter.’”
The media’s pervasive perversity will be fully exposed at this rate; it is merely a matter of time. The best advice for Hollywood, the news media, and society as a whole will be to take your lumps and attempt to move on with your life. The runaround attempts and dodgy behavior of the accused will soon be considered faulty admissions of guilt on their own.