The #MeToo movement is real: It has sparked a national conversation and inspired real change. And as 2017 draws to a close, many news outlets are taking time to reflect on this watershed moment. Today, The Los Angeles Times published an excellent breakdown of the #MeToo movement by the numbers, and the stats are staggering.
The story leads with the headline: "A powerful person has been accused of misconduct at a rate of nearly once every 20 hours since Weinstein." That's more than one person per day since the New York Times published its bombshell exposé, written by journalists Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor on October 5. That was less than three months ago.
While horror stories have been circulating for years, through unofficial whisper networks, seeing these stats compiled in one place is impactful. Each name of the accused represents at least one victim (or, in the case of director James Toback, over 200) who bravely came forward to tell their story. Weinstein himself has 84 accusers to date.
The L.A. Times pieces breaks down the numbers further by industry: 51 people in entertainment and arts have been accused of sexual harassment or assault — 52 if you include singer Melanie Martinez. Another 18 are politicians, or work in the political fields, 19 if you include President Donald Trump. There were 21 men in media, including star New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush (who did not lose his job) and Today show host Matt Lauer.
Scrolling through the L.A. Times' interactive database of the accused is a troubling reminder of how long many of these men have been able to hold onto positions of power. Ultimately, though, collecting this data in one place reminds us that since October 5, we've come so far. But it can be daunting to look at the work ahead: there are more abusers and enablers who have yet to be outed. We also need to ensure the movement truly represents diversity beyond politics and the entertainment industry, and protects those who are most vulnerable.
It's up to us to see #MeToo into 2018 in order to effect true and lasting change.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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