Everyone Knew: The Harvey Weinstein Allegations – my new project

https://www.the-pool.com/news-views/latest-news/2017/43/a-comprehensive-list-of-every-weinstein-allegation-so-far (via @amysoandso)

Everyone knew.

We hear this over and over and over again. Every single time a male actor, athlete, musician, artist, politician, chef (and the list goes on) are alleged to be perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence and abuse, the refrain is “oh, everyone knew”.

Somehow ‘everyone knew’ about the multiple allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape surrounding Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein; allegations that go back decades. Yet, no one (read men) in positions of power followed even the most basic protection regulations and laws around sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Everyone also ‘knew’ about Jimmy Savile’s predatory behaviour to children and women. Despite multiple allegations made to numerous people supposedly responsible for child protection and multiple reports to police, the media still didn’t want to publish the clear evidence of Savile’s sexually predatory behaviour. Even after he died. Everyone knew; no one talked.

The original plan of Everyone Knew was to list only those men for whom allegations had become public in the immediate aftermath of Rowan Farrow’s expose of Harvey Weinstein’s crimes. However, it soon became clear that it was a false division. Part of the reason for including men like Charlie Chaplin and Roman Polanski, whose crimes go back decades, is to show just how ubiquitous this level of entitlement is and just how many men are perpetrators – men who did not suddenly become perpetrators when named in the press.  We talk about Harvey Weinstein as though it was a watershed point. The simple truth is the complete opposite. These ‘watershed’ moments are continuous and constant. We need to keep pushing back on the silencing of women and children. And, we need to stop pretending that naming Weinstein will change everything. We have been here before and it hasn’t. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t fight back. We must. Otherwise the abuse will still continue – unnamed because we already ‘solved’ it.

Many of the men named in the past month as alleged perpetrators were business associates or friends of men who already had a documented history of inappropriate and illegal behaviour. A significant number had worked with Harvey Weinstein. Allegations about Academy Award winner Ben Affleck only became public recently, however, his younger brother Casey was the subject of two sexual harassment complaints in 2010. Ben knew about these allegations and, along with long-time friend and collaborator Matt Damon, used his status as a shield for his younger brother. Allegations about the behaviour of Brett Ratner resulted in allegations about his long-time friend Russell Simmons. Allegations about Harvey Weinstein raised allegations about the behaviour of his brother  Bob, who is accused not only of sexual harassment himself but of helping cover up Harvey’s crimes. A number of these lists also list fashion photographer Terry Richardson as a ‘new’ allegation because the publisher Conde Nast has chosen to stop working with him this past month. The fact that Conde Nast knew of the multiple allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault levied against Richardson in 2010 has been erased in favour of ‘watershed moment’ media coverage.

Over the years, feminist activists and journalists have campaigned for boycotts of celebrity men with a history of violence against women and girls.  The sheer number of allegations and the multiple perpetrators named in the past month make it difficult to keep track.  This is why Everyone Knew was born. It will be a database of convicted perpetrators, as well as naming men who are alleged to be perpetrators. You can find the list here; it is not complete and may never be as many predators will continue to use the their money and their power to silence victims. I have also built sub-categories of employment and industry to show that this is more than just ‘Hollywood’ or some rogue US senators.

You can follow us at @EveryoneKnew17 & #EveryoneKnew

As with many feminist projects, I created this database without external financial support. If you can afford to donate £1 to help continue this project, I would be incredibly grateful.

#womenwrites (9.10.16)

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Trans Identity Within Women’s Spaces  by MHeket

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‘I Thought I Was Stupid’: The Hidden Struggle for Women with ADHD by Maria Yogada

A Few Words on the Blatant Disrespect Being Shown to Angela Davis by Kirsten West Savali

The not-so-unexpected challenge of new mothers: Dealing with entitled men via @FeministCurrent

 

Jimmy Savile is *NOT* a disgraced former presenter.

Jimmy Savile is child sexual predator.

Jimmy Savile is one of the most prolific child sexual predators known in the UK.

He is NOT a “disgraced” former presenter.

We need to stop using euphemistic language when discussing sexual predators. Savile did not pee on the Queen or vomit on the Prime Minister. He didn’t get caught smoking pot in the House of Commons. He sexually assaulted, raped and tortured vulnerable children whilst the entire establishment, from the BBC to politicians to the police, looked the other way. It is beyond disgraceful for the media to run headlines like today’s Guardian:

At least 500 children abused by Jimmy Savile, new research claims

NSPCC study highlights extent of the disgraced presenter’s offending, making him one of the UK’s most prolific sex offenders

It’s not really that hard to come up with to describe Savile’s behaviour: violent would be a better word since sexual assault and rape are acts of violence. Or, and I know this goes beyond all the limits of thought, the media could just call him a serial sexual predator. Since that’s what Savile was. 

The Savile inquiry was not about Savile’s reputation. It’s a criminal investigation into the assault, rape and torture of children committed by Savile. It’s not necessary to google synonyms; just call him what he is : a prolific sexual predator who raped children.

Jimmy Savile Did Not “Groom the Nation”

I thought this was obvious. I didn’t think it was something that feminists would have to start shouting from the rooftops:

Met Commander Peter Spindler was correct when he called Savile a “predatory, serial sex offender”.


Spindler was wrong about Savile ‘grooming the nation”.

Jimmy Savile did NOT groom the nation.

Millions of people had no idea he was predatory, serial sex offender.

But, people did know.

We know they knew because Savile was not allowed to be involved in Children in Need.

We know people knew because they have been telling us they knew.


We know the police and CPS were aware because people told them.

Jimmy Savile did not groom the nation. He was allowed to continue abusing because he was a ‘celebrity’. Pretending that he “groomed the nation” allows those who knew to minimise and obfuscate their guilt. Those who knew and did nothing are guilty of helping Savile in sexually assaulting hundreds of children and adults. I say hundreds but we will never know how many.


The term “grooming the nation” only serves to silence victims. It serves those predatory, serial sex offenders who are still harming people. It makes Jimmy Savile a one-off case that will never be repeated. 

But, Jimmy Savile isn’t the only one. He will never be the only one. 

“Grooming the Nation” is about making bystanders feel better about having done absolutely nothing to protect vulnerable children and adults from a serial sex offender.

It not only absolved bystanders of responsibility; it gives them a space to be feted and petted in the press by journalists unwilling to look too closely at their own responsibility for reinforcing rape culture.

Jimmy Savile was a predatory, serial sex offender because people stood by and did nothing to stop him

How many other men are there today harming children and other adults safe in the knowledge that those around know and will do nothing to stop them?

(A longer version of this piece has been published by the Huffington Post)