Recently, more and more famous actors, politicians and other public figures are coming under fire for acts of sexual misconduct that have occurred in their past.
Notable examples include Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken and others. Many of the accused have apologized, though with varying degrees of effectiveness and dignity.
Regardless of the apology, the damage done unto people of sexual harassment and assault cannot be reversed. An apology helps, sure, but more of an effort to keep these kinds of vile actions from happening needs to take place.
Whenever an apology is issued, it needs to be direct and sincere. Louis C.K. has one of the better apologies as of late. In his apology, he went as far as to address the damage done to people of sexual misconduct. According to The New York Times, Louis C.K. said, “The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly. I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions.” While he is still at fault for his actions, his apology at least seemed to have effort and care put into it.
An example of a bad and more damaging apology came from Kevin Spacey, who was accused of making inappropriate sexual advances by Anthony Rapp. According to People, Rapp was 14 during the time of the incident with Spacey. Not only was Spacey’s apology indirect but it was absurd and damaging, more than anything. He used his apology as a chance to come out as gay, attempting to utilize the PR smokescreen technique. What this does is paint homosexuals in a negative light, as this will make them seem as if they are pedophiles and bad people. This likely wasn’t Spacey’s intention, but the harm is still there.
One positive that has come out of the recent spew of allegations is the #MeToo movement, providing support and encouraging victims to come forward with their story.
While the insincere apologies from the likes of Kevin Spacey and Al Franken do tough harm on their own, it is fantastic to see people band together and try to give support to everyone who has been taken advantage of and harmed from it.