Why Won't the Public Turn Their Backs on the Powerful Men of Entertainment?

Image via Getty, badge by Jim Cooke.
Image via Getty, badge by Jim Cooke.

Writers of Jezebel spend a lot of time thinking about bad men. Despite what MRA forums may tell you, it’s not that we seek them out or get pleasure from reporting on them because, in reality, it’s terribly depressing how many there are and that so many of them are powerful and seemingly untouchable.


Nowhere is there a better, more public example of this than in entertainment, an industry where over 100 of the top actors and filmmakers will sign a petition demanding the release of a director who drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl, an actress makes the news for not fawning over a man accused of sexual abuse by multiple women, or a singer continues a celebrated decades-long career despite years of accusations that he preyed on and sexually manipulated young women.

The tendency to forgive and forget the actions of male celebrities moves beyond their industry and to the public, which somehow experiences a frequent collective amnesia when it comes to their favorite entertainer’s (sometimes criminal) actions. This week on DirtCast, we sit down with our very own Anna Merlan of the Special Projects Desk to discuss the ways that journalists and the public enable these men to succeed—particularly in relation to the most recent accusations against R. Kelly (originally, and often times only, reported on by Jim DeRogatis), but also extending to the likes of Woody Allen, Hugh Hefner, and Jimmy Page.

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Our show is produced by Levi Sharpe with editorial oversight by Kate Dries. Mandana Mofidi is our Executive Director of Audio. Our theme music is by Stuart Wood. This episode was mixed by Brad Fisher. Listen to our politics podcast, Big Time Dicks, here.


Jane-Luc Picard

This goes for every industry. I’ve known partners who sexually harassed STUDENTS allowed to quietly leave the firm with great recommendations and their entire book of business, so they can go down the street and harass students at the next office. Repeat ad nauseum.

This was the same firm that had multiple associates fucking the students... Can you say culture of abusive behaviour? When I quit, I told HR about it... They acted like they had no idea it was happening.