Very much agree with Echo. Our culture has a tendency toward reactionary pendulum-swings in the extreme, and someone having their name and career ruined over a false accusation is not to be taken lightly (I myself have been falsely accused of inappropriate behavior, and I thank the heavens that my professional reputation and the fact that the accuser was demonstrably mentally ill in a MJA-type fashion kept me from having my life completely derailed, but even in those circumstances it was a terrifying experience to fear that I might have to completely start over with those false allegations hanging over my head for the rest of my life). But as Echo said, I’m really not seeing much in the way of a “warlock hunt” in Hollywood. Pretty much all of the allegations I’ve seen are detailed, in many cases corroborated, and thoroughly investigated by legitimate publications whose journalists have uncovered in most cases a pattern of systematic behavior by an abuser with nearly identical stories told by multiple victims. In many cases, the accused has confessed (or given a corroboration couched in a bizarre half-denial, like James Franco or Kevin Spacey). No one is saying these men should be imprisoned without due process, but it’s totally fair for people to say that they are uncomfortable working with these men in light of the very serious and persuasive allegations.
Only a few of the allegations give me any pause. Aziz Ansari’s behavior is more nuanced and less criminal than most, but I believe it has been generally treated that way by the media and has opened up a healthy dialogue which has centered less around crucifying him personally and more around reevaluating unhealthy social moors overall. George Takei was accused by one person, and he has denied the allegations...I’m not sure who to believe, and I think most people seem to agree with that. His career and media presence don’t seem to have terribly suffered, even as most of us are troubled and can’t help but wonder. Perhaps most conflicted for me, Woody Allen stands accused of the most heinous behavior of anyone in Hollywood today, raping a nine-year-old. If true, he is a monster...but he has denied the allegations, a prosecutor declined to bring charges, no one else has ever accused him of pedophilia (the Soon-Yi thing is undeniably creepy, but not illegal and has led to a seemingly healthy 20+ year marriage), and the circumstances of the accusation are at least somewhat suspect (the allegation coming during a contentious divorce, and Mia Farrow’s own family history, including her brother being convicted and jailed for child molestation in 2013, and Moses Farrow’s stories of Mia manipulating and psychologically abusing her children). Let me be clear that I don’t doubt for a second that Dylan Farrow believes the allegations she has voiced. And I’m not saying I don’t think Allen is guilty, necessarily. I frankly don’t know what to believe. But, even doing my best to remove my personal biases and enjoyment of his films from the table, I find this particular accusation the most troubling. In light of all the evidence, it feels just about 50/50 to me that he is or is not guilty. It feels equally wrong to condemn him without reservation in the court of public opinion on the existing evidence, and to let him off.
Even given those few specific concerns, by and large, the recent move toward crediting victims feels enormously healthy, and the credible and detailed stories we are hearing have very clearly borne that trend out in almost all cases. Definitely not seeing any “warlock hunt.”