All manipulators need to be condemned

by Dana Tsuri-Etzioni, Opinion Editor

Recently, people in the entertainment industry have shown more solidarity than ever before, however, this solidarity is because of terrible circumstances.

Attendees of the Golden Globes on Jan. 7 wore black to protest sexual harassment and raise awareness for Time’s Up — a movement against sexual harassment founded by Hollywood celebrities in the beginning of this year. Many continued to spread awareness at Sunday’s Grammys, wearing white roses instead of dressing in black. It’s important that celebrities from all parts of the industry are uniting to protest this because sexual harassment is prevalent not just in the industry, but in society as a whole.

It’s nice to see celebrities using their platform in hopes of making a change.

It is unnerving when the accused are people their fans would never have expected to act in such atrocious ways.

Recently, James Franco was accused of sexual misconduct by several of his former students and one former mentee at Studio 4, a film school founded by Franco in New York. The women accused Franco of forcing them to perform sexual acts in his independent films. Their hope was that he would help them advance their careers as actresses. Franco is admired and worshiped by many fans. What kind of example is he setting for all those people? That using fame and social standing for your own personal gain and to manipulate others is ok.

For these accusations, Franco was taken off the cover of Vanity Fair and The New York Times cancelled his TimesTalk. Publications condemning Franco is well deserved and if the allegations against Franco prove to be true, he should be shunned within the industry, and by his fans.

He shouldn’t be given the platform he has if all he’s going to do is exploit it. Many of his coworkers in the industry are working to fight against sexual harassment, but Franco went against them.

The accused men in the industry are more powerful than the average predator. They have leverage over people and make them believe they are able to help them succeed in their career.

Instead of upholding admirable characteristics, they abuse their power and social standing. That’s disappointing.

Don’t judge a book by its cover, but definitely judge a man who takes advantage of others.