As the 2018 Award Season began, two young actors found their names in the headlines not as nominees, but for the alleged mistreatment of women. Aziz Ansari, 34, and James Franco, 39, are both facing accusations that recently surfaced, in light of many other individuals who have spoken out against Hollywood’s biggest names.
Aziz Ansari addressed the media after the release of a narrative from a young photographer’s account of a date night with the actor- and said something along the lines of ‘I misunderstood her intentions’. The incredibly graphic story was published via Babe.net and gained attention immediately. ‘Grace’ as referred to in the article, said she confronted Ansari following the date, only to receive a short apology that matched his statement to the media- misreading her body language and intentions.
James Franco on the other hand, faces not one but five women, all of whom are accusing the actor of assault or exploitative behavior. Franco commented on the situation on the “Late Night Show with Steven Colbert”- “If I have done something wrong,” he added, “I will fix it — I have to.”
Google Trends shows that the public is curious to know more details about the breaking headlines.
The ugly reality of Hollywood’s sexual assaults and other mistreatment engagements first gained mass attention in October 2017, when over 80 victims accused Harvey Weinstein of assault and the list continues to grow. The accused include big names such as Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Morgan Spurlock, Charlie Rose, Russell Simmons, Louis C.K.- just to name a few.
#MeToo or #TimesUp?
After the public sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein in October 2017, the hashtag #MeToo began trending to encourage other victims of sexual assault to acknowledge their own personal cases as part of a larger mass demonstration. Brought to Hollywood’s forefront by Alyssa Milano, those who tweeted the hashtag included Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon, Viola Davis, Ellen DeGeneres and Simone Biles.
In light of Hollywood’s current situation and the #MeToo hashtag, numerous celebrities created a new hashtag, #TimesUp on the night of the 2018 Golden Globes. Both actors and actresses wore black in support of the protest against sexual assault. The clever idea utilized an already large platform with the integration of high-fashion, all while highlighting Hollywood’s current state.
Although the audience’s interest in #TimesUp peaked during and after the award show, it can be seen per Google Trends that #MeToo continues to draw further interest over the last 30 days.
Over the last week #MeToo, gained further attention in relation to Larry Nassar’s trial and sentencing. More than 150 women described the abuse inflicted upon them by the former USA Gymnastic’s doctor.