It’s been a few years since I’ve written a post tracking abusive celebrity men under the tag #DickheadDetox. The origins came from an article by Eva Wiseman in the Guardian about holding violent male celebrities accountable:
“It’s to do with my problem giving money to dicks, to people who’ve punched their wives or broken their teeth. It’s to do with linking the things they’ve done to the things they’ve made. It’s a rule I’m currently formalising – I’m turning off the TV when abusers appear. I’m leaving shops where their songs dribble from the PA; I’m turning off the radio. Like a juice cleanse. A dickhead detox. And it feels good.”
I’ve been trying to do this, however avoiding financially supporting artists with a history of violence against women and girls is much easier than avoiding those who collude with them by minimising their crimes. Or continuing to work with abusers. You only have to look at the careers of Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. And, now, Harvey Weinstein.
Harvey Weinstein’s actions are not an aberration. He is not an isolated incident.
Harvey Weinstein is the product of a white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy which requires women to pass the patriarchal fuckability test whilst holding them accountable for the rape and abuse they experience.
If Harvey Weinstein was an aberration, Roman Polanski would not have gotten a standing ovation at the Oscars; sexual harassment in schools would not be increasing in astronomical numbers; and, the majority of rapists would be in prisons having been found guilty of their crimes. Instead of the exact opposite.
The women who have been sexually harassed, assaulted and raped by Harvey Weinstein have been brave in speaking out knowing precisely what the punishment is for holding violent men accountable: being labeled liars and harassed and abused online.
Rape culture is a victim blaming culture and a culture of enabling violent and abusive men. Weinstein’s victims are already being berated for not speaking out sooner to ‘protect’ other women – as though they would have been believed. It is very clear that many, many men in Hollywood knew about Weinstein and did nothing – men who had the clout to refuse to work with him. Men who control the very media companies that could have reported the crimes. Instead, Weinstein is pretending to have a “sex addiction” – the new go to excuse for rapists.
The women Weinstein targeted were famous, young, vulnerable, and equally the daughters of powerful actors. The way Weinstein targeted these women reads like the various Jimmy Savile inquiries: powerful men given access to victims with the active collusion of some and the refusal of others to take a stand. And, the inquiries into the sexual exploitation of girls involved in gymnastics. Children living in care homes. Slate has created a timeline of Weinstein’s known criminal acts starting in 1990, which is distressing in the similarity of experiences. There are many women whose names are not recorded here as they are not in a position to speak out publicly or have chosen not to. Considering how long Weinstein has been assaulting women, it is clear that the number we see now are only the tip of the iceberg.
The #DickheadDetox is about refusing to financially support celebrities. This list is those who originally made my list for male violence against women and girls.
- Woody Allen: child sexual abuse
- Julian Assange: rape
- Alec Baldwin: emotional abuse
- Christian Bale: domestic violence*
- Gary Busey: domestic violence and sexual assault
- John Barrymore: domestic violence
- David Bowie: allegations of child sexual exploitation
- Kobe Bryant: sexual assault
- Josh Brolin: domestic abuse
- James Brown: domestic violence
- Chris Brown: domestic violence against multiple partners
- Nicholas Cage: domestic violence
- Justin Lee Collins: harassment, stalking and domestic abuse
- Stan Collymore: domestic violence
- Sean Connery: domestic violence
- Jim Davidson: domestic violence
- Eminem: domestic violence
- Micheal Fassbender: domestic abuse
- Larry Fitzgerald: restraining order for domestic violence
- Flavor Flav: domestic abuse
- Edward Furlong: domestic violence arrests: One & Two & Three
- Lane Garrison: domestic violence
- Paul Gascoigne: domestic violence
- Mel Gibson: probation for domestic violence [not to mention the issue of racism]
- Gary Glitter: possessing images of children being tortured, raped and abused**
- Ceelo Green: rape
- Stuart Hall: indecent assault
- Rolf Harris: child sexual abuse
- Richard Hatch: domestic assault
- Ernest Hemingway: domestic violence
- Micheal Jackson: multiple allegations of child sexual abuse
- Adam Johnson : child sexual abuse
- R. Kelly: domestic abuse and multiple allegations of child sexual abuse
- Anthony Kiedis: sexual battery and indecent exposure
- Jonathon King: child rape
- Tracy Lawrence: domestic abuse
- Tommy Lee: domestic violence
- John Lennon: domestic abuse and being a shit father to his first son.
- Jerry Lee Lewis: child rape**
- Micheal Lohan: domestic violence
- Frank “Kellie” Maloney: domestic violence
- Floyd Mayweather: domestic abuse
- Harry Morgan: domestic violence
- Jack Nicholson: multiple allegations of assault
- Ozzy Osbourne: domestic abuse
- Jimmy Page: child rape**
- John Peel: child rape**
- Sean Penn: domestic abuse
- Oscar Pistorius: domestic violence and murder
- Roman Polanski: child rape
- Iggy Pop: child rape**
- Paul Reubens: indecent exposure
- Terry Richardson: sexual abuse and harassment
- Eric Roberts: domestic violence
- Dennis Rodman: domestic abuse
- Mickey Rourke: domestic abuse
- Charles Saatchi: domestic abuse
- Jimmy Savile: rape & child sexual abuse
- Hugo Schwyzer: sexual abuse and harassment
- Steven Seagul: domestic abuse and sexual harassment
- Tupac Shakur: sexual abuse
- Charlie Sheen: domestic abuse and assault (on multiple occasions)
- OJ Simpson: domestic abuse and murder
- Bryan Singer: allegations of sexual abuse of a teenage boy
- Tom Sizemore: domestic violence
- Christian Slater: domestic violence
- Wesley Snipes: domestic violence
- Freddie Starr: child sexual abuse
- Johnny Thunders: child rape*
- Jonathon Togo : domestic violence
- Ike Turner: domestic violence
- Steven Tyler: child rape**
- Mike Tyson: domestic abuse and rape
- Bill Wyman: child rape**
Richard Dawkins got a mention in the original #DickheadDetox for misogyny and rape apologism; Donald Trump for being a white supremacist (before the allegations of sexual assault and rape were made public); Clint Eastwood is also on the list for racism; and Owen Jones is there for whining. Constantly. Perez Hilton got a special mention for daily misogynistic drivel (see also: Jeremy Clarkson and Christian Jessen). The hypocrisy of left-wing dudes is as tedious as it is ubiquitous (see Thomas Gibson and Russell Brand) with the Affleck brothers trading on their status as liberals to erase their history.
The updated list now features:
- Steve Adler: domestic abuse
- Ben Affleck: sexual harassment
- Casey Affleck: sexual harassment
- Brian Bonsell: domestic abuse
- Marlon Brando and Bernardo Bertolucci for rape
- Nicholas Brendon: domestic violence of multiple partners
- James Brown: aggravated assault and allegations of rape
- Gary Busey: sexual assault
- James Caan
- Max Clifford: multiple counts of sexual assault
- Stephen Collins: sexual assault
- David Copperfield: allegations of sexual assault
- Bill Cosby: multiple counts of rape and sexual harassment
- Alex Da Silva: multiple counts of rape and sexual assault
- Johnny Depp: domestic violence
- Kirk Douglas : alleged*** rape of Natalie Wood
- Josh Duggar: child sexual abuse
- Gary Glitter: multiple counts of child sexual abuse
- Ted Heath: multiple counts of child sexual abuse
- Santonia Holmes: multiple arrests for domestic violence
- Terrence Howard: domestic abuse
- Jeremy Jackson: assault
- Jared Leto: rape
- Jeffrey Jones: owning images of children being raped and abused
- Marilyn Manson: sexual assault
- Dudley Moore: domestic violence
- Harry Morgan: domestic abuse
- Vince Neil: domestic abuse
- Gary Oldman: domestic violence
- Tito Ortez: domestic abuse
- Nate Parker: allegations of multiple perpetrator rape
- Eric Roberts: domestic abuse
- Alxl Rose: domestic abuse
- Twiggy Ramirez: allegations of rape
- Jonathan Rhys-Meyers: domestic violence.
- Mark Salling: owning images of child rape and torture
- Slash: domestic abuse
- James Toback: 30 allegations of sexual assault and harassment
- Tone Loc: domestic abuse
- David Lee Travis: indecent assault
- Vanilla Ice: domestic abuse
- Ian Watkins: child rape, child sexual abuse, & owning images of children being raped and abused
- Scott Weiland: domestic abuse
- James Wood: sexual assault
- XXVALA (artist): sexual violence
Quentin Tarantino gets a mention for whining about potential damage to his career for covering up the well documented criminal history of Harvey Weinstein. Matt Damon also gets a mention for covering up the crimes of Casey Affleck (not to mention the whole whitesplaining racism and diversity to a Black woman). Brad Pitt is on the list for knowing about Weinstein but doing nothing to stop him.
Then there is this list, by Beth Winegarner, which includes male celebrities whose history of violence I was unaware of including: Jim Carrey (domestic violence), James Deen, Rob Lowe (sexual harassment), Dudley Moore (domestic violence), James Caan (domestic violence) Billie Dee Williams (domestic violence), Oliver Stone (sexual harassment), Brett Ratner (sexual assault), and Arnold Schwarzenegger whose history of sexual harassment did not prevent him from becoming governor of California.
Carrie Fischer’s last book The Princess Diarist includes her ‘affair’ with Harrison Ford, which started during the filming of Star Wars. A number of male crew members had pushed Fisher into drinking too much at a bar and then tried to take her out of the building. Ford sees this and ‘rescues’ Fisher only to have sex with her instead. This incident received a lot of publicity after publication, but none focused on the inability of an incapacitated vulnerable 19 year old to consent to an encounter with a man 14 years her senior.
There has also been some interesting stories around Tom Cruise and his divorce from Katie Holmes. The Daily Mail, and other gossip sites, are claiming that Holmes had to sign a clause prohibiting her from ‘publicly dating’ until 5 years after the divorce. There were allegations of coercive control throughout the marriage; always attributed to an ‘anonymous source’. Holmes has primary custody of their only child, who apparently went three years without seeing her father. Cruise’s children from his first marriage to Nicole Kidman remained in Cruise’s physical care following that divorce. Cruise’s name very rarely appears on lists of violent men, but there is a documented history of actions that constitute coercive control.
I had stopped writing entries to the #DickheadDetox because of my mental health. I stopped because it become overwhelming recording so many men. I’ve written very little over the past 2 years and it has taken me 8 hours to write this through panic attacks. I needed to write it.
Harvey Weinstein is not an aberration. Women telling their stories of sexualised violence is not unusual either. Yet, somehow this feels like a tidal wave has been dented. Not stopped. But dented enough for women to feel safe recording their experiences. Where this goes depends on men listening and standing up for women. Right now it feels like we may have a chance.
*I’m using both domestic abuse and domestic violence because the terms reflect the legal status of the crime in the jurisdictions in which the men were charged.
** None of these men were convicted of child rape. But, that’s because we live in a society that celebrates male violence and doesn’t give a shit about children.
*** I dislike using the term ‘alleged’ since it implies the victim is a liar. I believe victims. The criminal justice system and the laws around libel do not.