After the #MeToo movement took the world by storm, shedding light on cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape by individuals in positions of power, some of the biggest Hollywood icons fell as accusations began to pile up against them from both women and men who will not be silenced any longer.
Every industry was getting its clean slate as actors, directors, CEOs, writers etc. were finally presented for who they really are and left to face their actions as the world watched, determined to have justice made. It seemed like no stone was left unturned—except that’s not true.
When the #TimesUp movement began making rounds, countless of celebrities shared their support for it by posting the hashtag on social media and donating to the legal fund that would “subsidize legal support for individuals who have experienced sexual harassment or related retaliation in the workplace.” The support was tremendous, and in a matter of weeks almost everyone with an internet connection had heard of the movement. To add to the greatness of it all, celebrities also chose to wear black as well as #TimesUp pins at the 2018 Golden Globes in support of victims and Oprah held a speech that would linger in our minds and history. I was thrilled, yet I couldn’t help but notice the hypocrisy displayed by some of the celebrity #TimesUp supporters, particularly Selena Gomez and Justin Timberlake.
Selena Gomez is a known advocate for women’s rights, equality and a huge supporter of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement. She is the executive producer of the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which touches on sexual harassment and rape and is praised by many for shedding light on the issue, as well as its effects on victims. She is also a hypocrite. Despite all the support she apparently has for these movements and despite how horrible she may find sexual harassment, she has chosen, without regrets, to work alongside Woody Allen, a movie director accused of molestation by his former step-daughter, and whom has been married to another step daughter of his, Soon-Yi Previn, since 1997. Even with this information, Selena has chosen to star in his most recent film, A Rainy Day in New York.
Justin Timberlake, who attended the Golden Globes with his wife, posted a photo of the two wearing black and a #TimesUp pin onTwitter with the caption “Here we come!! And DAMN, my wife is hot! #TIMESUP #whywewearblack.” He, too, has starred in a recent Woody Allen film titled Wonder Wheel.
See what I mean?
Here we have two massive icons in Hollywood, apparently showing support for this movement that women have put blood, sweat and tears into while also working alongside a man who has been accused of the crime that they advocate against—a man who married his step-daughter after her adoptive mother, Mia Farrow, allegedly found nude polaroids that he’d taken of the child they were raising together.
You do not get to post about how inspiring women and men sharing their stories are, wear a black suit or dress in support of this movement, cry as Oprah holds a powerful speech directed at women and girls watching from around the world, applaud as Natalie Portman calls out the sexism of Golden Globe nominations or even use the hashtag #TimesUp on your Twitter feed, and then go back to work the next day alongside an alleged sex offender who married his step-daughter. That’s just not how this works.
While the #TimesUp movement does focus on inequality in workplaces and putting an end to sexual assault, it is essential for it to also focus on people who support, cover up or work alongside men and women accused of sexual harassment, assault or rape. These people—and not just Gomez or Timberlake, but everyone who does what they’ve done—should not and cannot stand by those that we’ve been fighting so hard to take down just because they are “talented” or can provide jobs, money or someone’s “big break.”
In this time of change and empowerment, we continue to fight for equality in a very unequal world. While it is painful and difficult to rid ourselves of people as iconic and influential as Gomez or Timberlake, it has to happen if we ever want the generations that follow us to see a day when an equal sign stands between genders. So I stand here today, proud but also ashamed as I ask you the question: when, if ever, will their time be up too?