The conviction of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was a victory for those who fought for justice in sexual abuse cases. His conviction brought relief to his victims and other women who were sexually assaulted. However, his trial also marked the first and perhaps the last chapter of the polarizing movement #MeToo.
Some believe that the movement has become a witch hunt because some cases of sexual misconduct have been wrongly treated as rape. These ten cases were distorted, exaggerated or prematurely judged by the movement #MeToo.
10 Aziz Ansari
In 2018, a woman called “Grace” told the story of her date with actor/writer Aziz Ansari. As published by Babe.net, it is the account par excellence of the dreaded grey area #MeToo.
According to her story, Grace met the actor and was excited to date an artist she admired. Although this enthusiasm turned into discomfort during the evening, she agreed to go to the comedian’s house.
At his apartment, Ansari allegedly made unwelcome sexual advances to Grace despite her growing unease and attempts to discourage her behaviour. Although he initially respected his feelings, Ansari then “pressured” her to have oral sex by showing her crotch. After more uncomfortable sexual behavior, Grace became angry and left. End of the appointment.
The media made the case public, noting that Grace had come to understand that her experience was sexual assault. Ansari’s story may have been worth telling, but turning a bad date into sexual assault may be borderline slander.
9 Andy Signore Screen Junkies
Andy Signore is a fantastic content creator and producer. You may not know him, but you probably know his work: Honest Trailers, a hilarious parody of Hollywood trailers. Its YouTube channel is still enjoying some success, with approximately 6.7 million subscribers and 2.4 billion views.
However, Andy was fired from his own company in October 2017. In the aftermath of Harvey Weinstein’s horrific rape scandal, Andy was called upon to behave inappropriately.
April O’Donnell, the loudest of her accusers, alleged that Andy tried to force sex toys on her and took pictures of her without her consent. He was found guilty by almost everyone, including his employer. They decided to send him back.
Later, Andy gave his version of the story in a moving video. He apologized for “awkwardly flirting with some of his fans and making inappropriate comments about them.”
Denying April’s accusations, Andy posted a series of texts, emails, and Twitter exchanges allegedly verified by Google to prove that he and Mr. O’Donnell were involved in a two-month consensual affair. According to Andy, the evidence also indicates that April intentionally sent her nude photos of herself.
In June 2019, a rape charge against football superstar Neymar made global headlines. The accuser, a Brazilian named Najila Trindade, met Neymar on Instagram. The athlete quickly arranged for her to stay in a five-star hotel in Paris, where they agreed to meet. According to police reports and Najila’s accounts, Neymar showed up intoxicated at their appointment and proceeded with the rape.
Following fierce media coverage of the case, the story turned around after Neymar shared transcripts of the couple’s conversation on Instagram. The dialogue showed that Najila was very enthusiastic about their future appointment. In addition, she was also looking forward to a second date, even after the alleged rape.
Najla’s behavior throughout the investigation was eccentric. She claimed to have video evidence of the attack stored on a smartphone and tablet. Mysteriously, both devices were allegedly stolen during a burglary. Nothing else would have been taken.
7 Nev Schulman Catfish
Catfish is a reality show broadcast on MTV about the truths and lies of online dating. It gives people the opportunity to face their online favourites in person. Nev Schulman, the show’s host and executive producer, is responsible for mediating the meetings, which can get worse from time to time.
In May 2018, Ayissha Morgan, who appeared on the show in 2015, posted a video on YouTube accusing Nev of sexual misconduct. According to her, “Jack” (a fake name for “the main guy of the show”) openly flirted with her.
Ayissha said Schulman told her to “reassess” her sexuality because she is gay. According to Ayissha, a production assistant also sexually assaulted her. Several members of the production team spoke out to defend Schulman.
6 Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist and author whose media presence is omnipresent. He appeared several times on Joe Rogan’s podcast and hosted his own show, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, on National Geographic.
Tyson’s character on screen is pretty healthy. He is the last person one would expect to see challenged by the #MeToo movement. However, in 2018, allegations of sexual misconduct have been made, tarnishing his reputation.
Katelyn Allers (professor at Bucknell University) became one of her accusers. At a party in 2009, Tyson reportedly showed interest in Katelyn Allers’ solar system tattoo and asked to see if it included Pluto. While Tyson’s behaviour was inappropriate, he did not deserve to be reported in the media.
However, Tchiya Amet El Maat’s allegations are much more troubling. She stated that Tyson drugged and raped her in 1984 while they were both graduate students at UT Austin.
Although the only evidence of this encounter is his testimony, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was initially suspended. However, after an investigation by National Geographic and Fox, Tyson was exonerated and the third season of Cosmos aired in 2020.
5 Asia Argento
Contrary to what you might have foreseen, this is not an all-male list. At its peak, the #MeToo movement did not leave a single stone unresolved. Asia Argento, an Italian actress, gained notoriety after the Weinstein scandal. She gave a moving description of her experience with Weinstein and became a leader in the #MeToo movement.
Soon after, the actress went from victim to culprit when the New York Times published allegations that Argento had abused actor Jimmy Bennett. The assault, which was denied by Argento, allegedly occurred in 2013 when Bennett was 17 and Argento 37.
To prove her innocence, Argento leaked a love letter she had received from Bennett after the alleged assault. Despite the lack of evidence, Argento was dismissed from X Factor Italy, where she had served as a judge.
4 Cristiano Ronaldo
Neymar was not the only footballer recently implicated in rape allegations. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese icon, found himself in hot water during the fury of #MeToo.
In court documents, former teacher and model Kathryn Mayorga claimed to have met Ronaldo at a nightclub in 2009. They allegedly returned to his suite in Las Vegas, where the alleged rape allegedly took place. Ronaldo argued that the meeting was consensual.
The two men reached an out-of-court settlement that contained a confidentiality agreement. In exchange for a payment of $375,000 from Ronaldo, Mayorga reportedly agreed to waive any legal claim against the footballer and destroy any evidence relating to the case.
The case has regained its notoriety with the #MeToo movement since Der Spiegel published an article entitled “The Secret of Cristiano Ronaldo”. Ronaldo was manhandled by the media and even dumped by portugal’s national team.
However, in disgusting cases such as rape, we forget that people are innocent until proven guilty.
The original police report did not identify the athlete as the perpetrator of the rape. In addition, in July 2019, Las Vegas prosecutors issued a statement that stated, among other things: “Based on a review of the information available to date, allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, no charges will be laid.”
3 T.J. Miller
You may have wondered why no one hears about the American actor and comedian T.J. Miller so often. From Deadpool to HBO’s Silicon Valley, the actor couldn’t hurt and he seemed to be everywhere. When Hollywood didn’t get tired of comics, a story of sexual assault against a former girlfriend (called “Sarah” to protect her identity) broke out.
The alleged violence occurred during their relationship at the university while the couple were intoxicated and had sex. According to Sarah, Miller was drunk and acting violently during sex. For example, he allegedly suffocated her and forced her to have sex.
For some people, the line between “brutal sexual relations” and “sexual assault” can be a grey area, especially when both parties are drunk. The couple continued to date for a while, but eventually separated.
A year after their breakup, Sarah filed charges with the university, which may have led to Miller’s expulsion after graduation. The actor maintains that what happened between the couple was consensual and that Sarah’s actions are motivated by revenge.
2 Johnny Depp
The whole Johnny Depp/Amber Heard case #MeToo shabacle has gone through so many twists and turns that judgment should not be made until their trial is resolved. The former couple made headlines over a high-profile divorce. It was heard that Depp was charged with domestic violence, and the actor was found guilty by the media. Depp has become a Hollywood outcast and has been called a “wife drummer” by some media outlets.
The story gains a new chapter after evidence of Heard’s violence against Depp appears. Public opinion shifted in favor of the actor, which led him to file a defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife.
At this point, it is difficult to know who the victim is in their relationship. However, it is clear that the dynamics of their relationship have been oversimplified by the skewed idea that only men can be perpetrators of domestic violence.
1 Louis C.K.
No one can sum up the whole drama of Louis C.K.’s sexual misconduct better than him in his new special: If you ever ask someone: Can I in front of you and he says yes, just say, Are you sure? And if they say yes, don’t do it. Don’t do it.”
In 2017, The New York Times published an article containing accounts of five sexual misconduct complaints against the comedian. Four of the women involved stated that Louis had asked them if he could masturbate in front of them and that he then performed the masturbation. One of them stated that the act took place during a telephone call.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Louis had his ties to some streaming services broken and a movie release cancelled. He had power over these women, and they may have felt somewhat cornered. Subsequently, some of these women also believed that their careers would be negatively affected by talking about what had happened.
According to at least two women, Louis contacted them years later via Facebook, email and/or phone to apologize for his conduct. As Louis has helped some women in their careers, some people seem to have trouble reconciling these two aspects of his personality.
It was difficult for Louis C.K. fans to see this side of the comics, but portraying it as a rapist would be dishonest in those cases. What should have been an embarrassing stain on the comedian’s career almost became the final chapter? Louis C.K. has just published a new stand-up special on his own website, even though it polarizes the media once again.
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