EDIT: After some indignant feedback, yes, Roy Moore. I know. That's a different writeup, with a different dynamic.
For many decades there were jokes about the "casting couch" - young, beautiful broke desperate girls from some hayseed town in Iowa getting off the buss in Los Angeles and being starstruck with the hopes and dreams of making it big in the movie business being plowed in a pay-for-play sordid Faustian bargain that more often than not left the women feeling used and soiled with no stardom in return.
But even though the odd sex scandal did appear - from Fatty Arbuckle's career ruined over the mere whiff of scandal of pecadilloes to Rob Lowe getting in hot water over a sex tape with a teenager, liberal Hollywood was a bastion of feminism and Democrat lecturings about how much more moral the people therein were.
I'll quote George Clooney - who was requoted in Smug on South Park mocking his holier-than-thou attitude:
"And finally, I would say that, you know, we are a little bit out of touch in Hollywood every once in a while, I think. It's probably a good thing. We're the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just being whispered, and we talked about civil rights when it wasn't really popular. And we, you know, we bring up subjects, we are the ones—this Academy, this group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the backs of theaters. I'm proud to be a part of this Academy, proud to be part of this community, and proud to be out of touch."
Then, in 2017 - It all started with Harvey Weinstein.
The jokes made over the years made sense, all the sudden: Seth McFarlaine making an odd, nope didn't get it must be an inside reference gag at an awards show about all the women not having to pretend they like him anymore reference. Then it simply came out like a floodgate. Accuser after accuser came forward, saying that the powerful Hollywood producer groped, raped, and assaulted women over many years in his tenure in the business.
It didn't help that Weinstein looks like the kind of rough, bruiser guy who used to have a good job at the plant until the 1980s, and now unwinds down at a smoky pool hall with a domestic beer after a hard day of tying rebar on a site, if he can find a place that "hasn't replaced guys like him with cheap Central American illegals" as he would snarl into his beer.
But then it got scarier. There were retributions. After Rose McGowan came out of the woodwork and made VERY direct and very specific and every public claims against him, suddenly the authorities remembered there was a warrant out for her arrest on drug possession charges they'd NEGLECTED to remember about until she came forth against a powerful man. Turns out he hired some scary people with spy and private military contractor experience to go after accusers for intimidation purposes, too.
It also turns out that it was in his contract with his production company that he couldn't be terminated for sexual harassment charges, either. He'd pre-emptively said and got in writing "yeah, if it turns out I'm a rapist, I get to keep my job".
Now, let me contextualize this for future historians.
2017 was, in many ways, a referendum on political correctness. The pendulum swung back from Obama-era easily triggered social justice handwringing to hate rally crossburnings resulting in deaths. People were sick of being scared of losing their jobs because someone who couldn't figure out what gender they were were so incredibly offended by life that a joke that would have made everyone laugh in 1995 suddenly became a federal case in 2016 with firings and permanent lifetime employment bans. And in that backlash, oh boy were the Joe Sixpacks of this world absolutely slavering with glee that the smug, holier than thou crusaders who knew better than everyone what was moral (e.g. politically correct atheism) suddenly were shown to corporately have feet of clay.
Because it did. Not. Stop.
Rolling Stone is compiling a list which is just growing daily. We all knew Roman Polanski was a pedophilic rapist scumbag, but Dustin Hoffmann being accused of soliciting sex from underage girls and grooming and harassing them? The editor of DC Comics? Hip liberal comedian Louis C.K. who admitted that yes, he took his penis out and masturbated in front of multple female interns, in the mistaken belief that they would be interested in seeing that?
George Takei? Oh wait, no, it was the Russians. Seriously, that was HIS excuse. Those darn Russians.
The pinpoint became a trickle which became a complete torrent. Terry Crews came out and said he had been groped by another man, a powerful man in Hollywood. He finally had the courage to file assault charges, and the villain in question was named and fired.
Kevin Spacey tried to weasel out of accusations of trying to molest a 14 year old boy by coming out of the closet, "never mind that, I'm gaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy" which landed totally, and horribly wrong. Using a coming out to cover for a crime? Yeah, not cool. And then people in his production company came right out and said they were sexually assaulted by Spacey. Netflix cancelled their contract with him immediately, and House of Cards was cancelled post-haste. A gag was made that it was ironic that the fallout from sexual assault allegations were far more likely to bring down a fictitious President than a real one.
Speaking of which, Hillary Clinton, who quietly said the other day she was "willing and able" to be President should we decide to impeach Donald Trump made the assertion that she should get the job because there's no excuse ever for anyone accused of sexual indiscretion, pointing her comments at Trump. "Like your husband" responded the interviewer, to which she rolled her eyes and said "that was in the past." ALL of these accusations were about things that happened in the past. You can't accuse people of things they're going to do in the future, Clinton.
And the schaudenfreude just kept rolling in as Clinton/Democrat/Hollywood darlings turned out to, yes, be vile base sexual predators. The firings keep piling up.
The people who for years and years and years broke their wrists slapping themselves on the back about how much more righteous and moral they were than the "basket of deplorables" they described the rest of America as being turned out to be Nothing. More. Than. Sexual. Predators. Themselves. Nothing more than drug addled, vapid, overpaid vermin.
And now people are taking Corey Feldman seriously, the man who for years said over and over and over there was a pedophile ring in Hollywood that preyed on young actors and actresses sexually for decades. One Babwa Wawa covered for all these years. It makes sense now that so many of them turned to drugs and escapism later in life.
Now it's time to get partisan politics out of this. The only reason I skewer the left wing of America on this is that for so long there was this narrative that "enlightened liberal" men didn't rape, it was just trailer trash, middle America, blue collar Joe Sixpack women hating, racist sexist homophobe transphobic deplorable scum that make up the majority of this country that do that.
Okay, so we've got the outrage and finally understand just how pervasive the problem is, which we would have done DECADES ago if we'd taken women seriously when they spoke to deaf ears about how pervasive the damn problem is.
Let's weasel these people out, and scorch the foul earth they grow in.
For Rose. For Corey. For Terry. For all the women who came forward, anonymously or otherwise, finally having the courage and strength in numbers to shine a light where a light damn well does belong.
And FUCK Hollywood.