While Washington and Hollywood are both seemingly worlds away from the small college town of Ypsilanti, many Eastern Michigan University students still have things to say about the sex scandals that many of America’s most powerful people are involved in.
The controversy began when Harvey Weinstein was accused of harassing women on his projects for several decades. Soon, more women started to speak out on what certain celebrities have been doing, and more celebrities are now getting caught after decades of getting away with these abuses.
It has been revealed that many celebrities in the industry have used their power to silence those that have been affected by their actions. The recent hashtag #MeToo has been trending on the internet, encouraging women to speak out and tell the world about how they have been affected by these scandals.
Mary Walker, a graduate student studying statistics, wasn’t surprised when news broke of Weinstein’s scandals.
“I’m sure he did it, and I hope he gets caught,” Walker said, when asked about her initial reactions to the story when it first broke. “I think that women are empowered to speak up now that they have seen and heard the stories of other women.”
“A lot of times, women are afraid to speak because they are only one voice, and that no one will believe them, but because we’re connected virtually women can share their stories, which allow women to see that there are other women who have similar stories and have been in similar situations.” She continued.
Jessica Craven, a freshman who is undecided, feels that there is also a culture of hypocrisy in both Hollywood and Washington.
“I thought that it was unsettling, because they have been getting away with it,” Craven says. “Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean you should get off from it. Normal people that get caught would get in trouble for it, but why not those in power?”
Aaron Bolton, a graduate student majoring in math, also thinks that it’s important that this scandal happened.
“I’m glad it’s coming to light,” Bolton says. “America is built on a meritocracy instead of previous power structures, and if you are silencing the voices of those who are in the minority, and are oppressed, we should empower those who do not have a voice and let them speak out. It will definitely change things if there was this culture in Hollywood where this is accepted, and it goes further than Harvey Weinstein.”
Some students have a more optimistic outlook on the recent scandals. Talona Johnson, a sophomore majoring in film, still has hopes that things in the entertainment industry will change.
“I still want to be in this industry,” Johnson says. “There are more celebrities coming out about how they were affected by these sexual predators in the film industry. With them speaking out, the film industry will recover, and be better than ever.”