It seems that one can't turn on the TV or radio anymore without hearing of yet another Hollywood story about someone who was sexually harassed, or worse, raped. In October, 2017, reports surfaced that movie magnate Harvey Weinstein allegedly sexually assaulted or harassed numerous women over the course of several decades. As NBC News reported, not long after the Weinstein allegations, numerous other actors and entertainment figures were accused of similar deplorable actions, including Louis C.K. (actor/comedian), Paul Haggis (writer of Million Dollar Baby), Ben Vereen (Broadway actor), and director Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me).
While some of those accused admitted they were guilty of sexual misconduct, like Spurlock, others maintain their innocence. The number of individuals who have come forward with these stories surprise many people. But the cornucopia of stories involving sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry doesn't surprise one actor.
As Deadline reported, while making the media rounds supporting his new project, Gunpowder, Game of Thrones star Kit Harington spoke about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. He didn't reference any specific incidents or accusations, but he did say that sexual harassment in the entertainment industry is "everywhere" and in particular with British theater.
"It's upsetting and disturbing, but it's not shocking. I think most actors hear stories, and people in the industry hear stories. It's just very hard for people to come out and talk about it. But the doors have been blown open a bit, and we can only be thankful for that."
Just the words rape, harassment, and sexual abuse are enough to make someone nauseous. Like Harington mentioned, people often avoid the uncomfortable subjects. But similar to when the Jerry Sandusky incidents came to light, the Weinstein accusation created a platform for other sexual abuse survivors to speak up. This is not only good because the victims can seek justice, but it could help the situation overall.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), one-in-five women and one-in-71 men will be raped in their lifetime. Approximately one-in-four girls and one-in-six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18. And that's just the information they can gather from those who admit they were abused or raped.
Experts say that part of the solution is spreading awareness. The more it's talked about, the more people will be comfortable coming forward. The more people come forward, the more these perpetrators can be stopped and arrested.