Women all over the country and world are sick and tired of being treated like playthings and abused by men. The sad fact is that one in five women will be sexually assaulted or raped in her lifetime, and if you ask any woman you know, she’ll most likely tell you that she’s been sexually harassed in the street and in the workplace.
The prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse has reached a boiling point as women rebuke the idea of being represented in areas like Hollywood and in government by men who do not see women as human beings. This view of women leads to a cycle of sexism that pervades every single space women occupy. Men in power, like Roy Moore, Donald Trump, and Harvey Weinstein have shown themselves to be harassers and abusers of women and have been allowed to behave as such with impunity.
This cycle of abuse gave rise to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements in Hollywood and beyond. Activist Tarana Burke spearheaded the #MeToo conversation and after actress Alyssa Milano got involved, it went viral with women all over the world bravely sharing their stories of sexual harassment and abuse.
It’s beyond a hashtag. It’s the start of a larger conversation and a movement for radical community healing. Join us. #metoo
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) October 15, 2017
After that, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which is a network of lawyers doing pro-bono work, was born. This defense fund is designed to give women facing workplace harassment access to legal representation against their employers or colleagues. Celebrities like Viola Davis have used their platform to elevate the message.
The latest accusations against a man in power came just ahead of the 2018 Oscars. Ryan Seacrest’s former stylist, Suzie Hardy, recently came out against Seacrest, claiming that she was often the victim of the entertainment powerhouse’s sexual aggression. In her account, she was regularly touched and even hit in a sexual way by Seacrest.
The job was a well-paying one, so Hardy dealt with the sexual harassment and abuse so that she could continue providing for her daughter until she found something safer. Her employment with Seacrest ended in 2013.
All of this came out about a week before Hollywood’s biggest night, and E!, a network for which Seacrest is essentially the poster child, made not-so-nice waves once again by deciding to keep Seacrest on as a correspondent on Oscars night while providing him with a tape delay in case anyone he interviewed brought up the case.
Essentially, they decided to protect the alleged abuser. (E! also recently made headlines for paying a male employee significantly more money than his female co-anchor, who had been with the network far longer.) Still, PR agents across Hollywood decided to steer their clients away from Ryan to avoid a scandal. Some stars, however, used the moment to shine deliciously petty light on the network’s decision.
Leave it to Queen Taraji P. Henson, master of shade, to deliver a jab to Seacrest so expertly crafted that neither he nor the video editors even knew it happened. Watch it all play out below.
— Michael B. Binge-watching (@michaelcollado) March 5, 2018
“You know what, the universe has a way of taking care of the good people, you know what I mean?” she said with a pointed little boop on Seacrest’s chin. When I saw this on Twitter, I choked on my water. When it comes to shade, she is a technician. The universe will have its way of taking care of you, Mr. Seacrest. Best believe that.