This article contains depictions of sexual and physical assault and may be triggering to some readers.
Since the fall of Harvey Weinstein, a reckoning has begun. Hundreds of women and some men (KEVIN SPACEY) have come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against a litany of powerful men. And people are taking them seriously. That’s right—men are experiencing consequences for their actions.
This is an incredible cultural phenomenon, but there are some powerful abusers who are being largely ignored since allegations were made against them before the Weinstein Effect took hold. But that doesn’t mean we should forget about them. Here are five who seem to have gotten away scot-free just because of the timing.
1.) Woody Allen
In 1992, when Woody Allen was 57, he sexually assaulted his then 7-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. He tried to get custody of her after she told her mother, Mia Farrow. Dylan’s mother and her lawyer chose not to pursue criminal charges because they didn’t want to make Dylan testify. A judge denied Allen custody of Dylan saying “measures must be taken to protect” her from him. At the same time, Allen was having an affair with his teenage adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who he is now married to. In 2015 he described his relationship with Soon-Yi: “I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. She deferred to me…” Apparently being a child adopted by Woody Allen is more dangerous than working for Harvey Weinstein. Woody Allen is still revered in Hollywood. Since 1992 he has been nominated for nine Academy Awards, and his newest movie came out this month. Dylan Farrow is continuing to fight for justice, but many celebrities continue to defend Allen.
2.) Mel Gibson
In 2010 Mel Gibson’s then-wife, Oksana Grigorieva, filed for a restraining order against him, stating he punched her in the face several times, knocked out her tooth, and gave her a concussion. Around the same time, tapes were leaked of Gibson berating Grigorieva, threatening, slut-shaming, body-shaming, and saying she deserved it when he hit her. He also said in the tapes “…if you get raped by a pack of [N-words] it will be your fault… I am going to come and burn the fucking house down… but you will blow me first.” (Gibson has a very long history of racism, misogyny, antisemitism, and homophobia.) The next year, Gibson pleaded guilty to domestic abuse. He did disappear from Hollywood for a few years, but now he’s back and apparently forgiven. He was nominated for an Academy Award last year, and he’s currently starring in Daddy’s Home 2.
3.) Roman Polanski
In 1977 Roman Polanski (then 43) drugged, raped, and sodomized a 13-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to statutory rape then fled the country before he could be sentenced and has been living in France ever since. This year, three more women have come forward saying that Polanski sexually assaulted them when they were children (the youngest was 10 years old at the time). Oh, and he bragged about the rape in his autobiography, describing it in graphic detail and calling it “erotic.” He also said in an interview “…everyone wants to fuck young girls,” which is literally the definition of pedophilia, but okay, sure. Since his conviction, he’s been nominated for an Academy Award three times and won once. He’s also still on the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which voted out Harvey Weinstein recently. He was almost extradited to the USA in 2009, but 138 celebrities signed a petition successfully calling for his release.
4.) Johnny Depp
Last year, Amber Heard (Johnny Depp’s wife at the time) filed for a restraining order stating he was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive during the entirety of their marriage and that she feared for her life. For the most part, no one believed her, despite the physical evidence and the fact she donated all $7 million she received in the divorce to the ACLU and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. After the divorce, Depp’s management team filed court documents stating they witnessed the abuse and corroborated everything she previously said in court and to the police. Depp is currently starring in Murder on the Orient Express, and J.K. Rowling defended casting him as the title character in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which will be out next year.
5.) Donald Trump
Yes, we’re going there. Just because we stopped talking about it doesn’t mean it stopped mattering. Barging into dressing rooms and leering at naked teenage girls, “grab them by the pussy,” sexual harassment and assault—it all still matters. Americans knew what he did, and we decided we didn’t care. Now we’re starting to care when other famous men do it, and we can’t lose this momentum. This reckoning is important, but it can’t just be about Hollywood moguls and senators. If we continue to hold the leader of the free world to a lower standard than actors and comedians, none of this will matter in the long run.