The Entertainment Industry is Having Their Major League Baseball Moment
Fuck you, Kevin Spacey. You too, Louis C.K.
In recent weeks, with the number of people speaking out against those who have sexually abused them, we are seeing who their perpetrators are. While no one would probably call Harvey Weinstein or James Toback beloved icons, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. are on an entirely different level.
These two men were Gods in their respective industries and idolized by many within them.
Kevin Spacey, arguably considered one of the best actors of his or any generation of stage and screen. As of late, he was having somewhat of a career renaissance with the popularity of House of Cards and Baby Driver.
Louis C.K, a comic who had risen to a place few standups ever reach. Creator of possibly one of the funniest and thought-provoking TV series of all time and whose events sold out huge arenas like Madison Square Garden.
They both were considered at the top of their fields and then everything came crashing down. Because of their own heinous actions.
As for their fans, we're left feeling angry, appalled, sad and disappointed. Our outrage is only surpassed by the hurt we feel for the victims. Me personally, I am a huge fan of both men. I considered Spacey as many consider Olivier. Everything he did was textbook and a master class. Regardless of everything that's happened, I still will say that his documentary NOW: The Film | Now In the Wings on a World is unmatched when showing the rehearsal process of theatre. With Louis C.K. my admiration began with his writing and ended with his boldness, tackling subject areas few comics would venture into. I'll put his Louis episode "God" up against any episode of TV ever. So seeing all of this unfold; angers, confounds and disappoints me to the highest degree.
While I'm angered by the men, can I still respect the work? Can I still watch it? Will I enjoy it the same way I did before? To be honest, I don't know, I haven't tried.
But as I'm working this all out, I realize I've been here before. I know what it's like to see your heroes disappoint you in almost irreparable ways.
After all, I am a baseball fan.
Throughout the 1980's and 90's the use of performance-enhancing drugs was rampant in Major League Baseball(MLB). Much like what has happened with sexual harassment over the years, its usage was often rumored but never confirmed and rarely exposed to the public.
However by the time the early 2000's came around and records were being shattered on an annual basis, accusations led to investigations which led to seeing our favorite players testifying and lying in front of Congress.
I'll never forget my anger and disappointment at seeing players who I admired and defended, lie about their actions in cheating the system.
I haven't felt that way in a long time. Not until now.
I won't ever equate the severity of sexual abuse to steroid use. That would be terrible. However, for one of the few times in modern history, the sports fan and the entertainment fan have something in common. We know how it feels to see your idols fall.
So where do we go from here? I have a feeling the list of admired individuals accused of sexual abuse and harassment isn't going to end with these two men. How will the entertainment industry repair?
Well if anything, they should take a page out of what the MLB had to do.
In response to the enormous use of performance-enhancing drugs, the MLB imposed harsh penalties for violations. Some ranging from months to years to lifetime bans. Has it worked 100%? No, but confirmed violations have decreased greatly. If Hollywood/Broadway is serious about putting an end to all of this, they need to something along the same lines.
They already have by banning Harvey Weinstein from various academies, guilds, and unions. This needs to become standard practice. Perpetrators of crimes like these, whether they be men or women, never should be allowed to wield the power they used to victimize others.
We need to stop wondering when the tipping point is going to come with all of this. It will come when it comes and arguably, it already has. We need to be angered and horrified but we also need to change the way the system works.