It’s been an “open secret” that women across all walks of life have been harrassed and assaulted sexually since really the beginning of time.
It was only after the allegations of decades of abuse against Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein were reported in the New York Times that for some reason sexual harassment became this career-ending watershed moment that we’re currently living in.
Part of it is the advent of social media, which has allowed people to not only report on their own circumstances and dealings with sexual harassment but also the strength in numbers it gives people. It is now so much easier to share those stories and organize and enact punishments on people who have for years gotten away with bad behavior.
Here are 15 alleged culprits who fell to the #MeToo movement.
15. President George H. W. Bush
Former President George H. W. Bush at the age of 93, recently became the oldest living President of all-time. Actress Heather Lind was the first to accuse the senior Bush of both touching her inappropriately while also making an inappropriate or lewd joke/comment while she was promoting the TV series Turn: Washington’s Spies.
On Instagram, Lind said that Bush “touch [her] from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told [her] a dirty joke. And then, all the while being photographed, he touched [her] again.” While she later deleted her post the floodgates were opened and multiple other women came forward with eerily similar accusations.
A spokesperson for Bush stated that he basically was unable to reach any higher because of the fact that he is in a wheelchair and that he made jokes about it to ease any awkwardness or tension. The joke, which was “Do you know my favorite magician? David Cop-a-Feel” was widely reported and joked on by late night comedians.
However, multiple women have come forward from before Bush was in a wheelchair to say that he also groped them, including a woman who was a 16-year-old girl at the time.
14. Roy Moore
Moore is currently campaigning for the Alabama Senate seat that was opened when Jeff Sessions was appointed to head the Department of Justice under President Trump. Most of the accusations against Moore are technically illegal (although the statute of limitations has expired).
Moore, a Republican and former judge is accused by almost 10 women of pursuing them for sexual relationships while they were in their early to mid-teens. Moore was in his early-30’s at the time of these accusations.
Looking at this list, it appears that whether or not one admits and apologizes to accusations or denies and fights them comes down to party lines (both for politicians and celebrities). Moore is fighting for his political life.
13. Kevin Spacey
Spacey, one of the most beloved, celebrated and award-winning actors of his generation, has always closely guarded details about his private life in interviews. Spacey, who we now know is a gay man, was harassing basically every man he worked with over the course of multiple decades (as we’ve learned recently).
But the first accusation made against him came from Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp. Rapp stated that when attending a party in the 80’s, at the age of 14, he went into Spacey’s room to watch television and Spacey (who was starring in a film with Rapp at the time) drunkenly entered the room and made a sexual advance towards him.
While Spacey denied remembering the encounter. He attempted to deflect any criticism by using the opportunity to admit he was a gay man for the first time, which people heavily criticized.
12. Roy Price
Roy Price has been called Hollywood royalty. His mother, Katherine Crawford, was an actress in the 70’s and his father, Frank Price, was a Hollywood executive — head of Universal TV in the 70’s, president and later chairman and CEO of Columbia Pictures and eventual president at Universal Pictures.
His maternal grandfather also created and produced television shows like The Rockford Files and Maverick. He was basically born into the Hollywood machine and first worked at Disney, where he developed the reputation of being “irreverent, puckish and infinitely bolder than most Hollywood executives.”
It’s that bold style that perhaps lead him to multiple accusations of either sexual harassment or inaction or malaise when it came to reports of sexual harassment from actresses (like one of the “founders” of the #MeToo movement in Rose McGowan).
The accusations of harassment came while Price was the president of Amazon.com’s video department, which he launched in 2008 — followed by Amazon Studios in 2010.
11. Al Franken
Up until recently, it appeared that Minnesota Senator and Saturday Night Live alum Al Franken was one of the few and new Democrats poised to take on Donald Trump in 2020.
He’s been front and center in a lot of the nominations processes for different cabinet positions in the Trump Administration and was the one to take on Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing.
However, Franken’s future in the Senate is now in question as it was first reported by Los Angeles based radio host LeeAnn Tweeden that Franken both “groped” and forcibly French kissed her during a USO Tour in 2006.
She posted a picture in which Franken pretending to grab her breasts (which were underneath a flack jacket) while she was asleep on a plane and also said that during a rehearsal for a play in which Franken was to kiss her, Franken forced his tongue in her mouth.
Franken immediately apologized while saying his recollection of the kiss was different, he said while he was attempting to be funny he clearly crossed a line.
10. Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor is the creator and host of the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. While Keillor was retired from his show, he was still active with Minnesota Public Radio and was the executive producer of many shows including A Prairie Home.
Keillor’s case is incredibly important and telling. He was fired from his position from Minnesota Public Radio for what he said was an incident in which he touched the bare back of a co-worker while he attempted to console her.
While the actual details of the incident weren’t released, Keillor did say that he accidentally put his hand up the back of the shirt of that co-worker as she was wearing a loose shirt. He said he immediately apologized and also apologized via email to the co-worker as she immediately reacted negatively to the situation.
According to Keillor, the co-worker accepted his apology and told him not to worry about it and thus he was surprised that it’d become an issue.
9. James Toback
Should we be ranking scumbags there’d be no bigger actual scumbag than James Toback. The screenwriter and director of films like Bugsy (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1991), The Pick-Up Artist, Two Girls and a Guy and Black and White was an alleged predator who used his position of power to take advantage of women who were hoping for a role in his films.
There are countless accusations of Toback inviting women to his hotel room or apartment to “audition” for a role. He’d often ask them to audition naked as an “acting exercise” and then would attempt to have sex with them or to find a “release” by rubbing against them.
Despite other people on this list Toback’s actions were widely reported in the press (by sites like Gawker in 2008 and 2015), with the Los Angeles Times adding to those accusations in late October of this year.
In total, nearly 40 women have accused Toback of harassment or assault. Toback denies the claims , stating he has a medical issue.
8. Jeremy Piven
Jeremy Piven, mostly known for his role as Ari Gold on the HBO Comedy series (and subsequent film) Entourage, was named in the #MeToo movement by actress Ariane Bellamar.Bellamar claimed Piven repeatedly sexually harassed and assaulted her. Piven responded by doing what few others had, denying the accusations.
He responded by writing; “I unequivocally deny the appalling allegations being peddled about me. It did not happen.” Bellamar was backed up by actress/musician Cassidy Freeman who came to her defense in an Instagram post which hinted at her own troubled past with Piven — referring to an incident that occurred when she was “far too young.”
Piven aggressively denied that as well but was undercut by Tiffany Bacon Scourby, an advertising executive, who said that Piven attacked her in 2003. In that attack, Piven allegedly “jumped on” her and then “exposed his genitals, held her hands down and began rubbing against her body until he” climaxed. Piven denied those allegations as well.
7. Chris Savino
Chris Savino worked for Nickelodeon and worked on different cartoons there. He created the show The Loud House — one of the better shows on the network as it’s really funny for both children and adults in the same vein as what’s being done at Pixar.
In October of this year, it was announced by Cartoon Brew (a site that covers news about animated shows) that Nickelodeon had suspended Savino from their studio due to multiple accusations of sexual harassment against him.
However, as is the case with multiple other people in positions of power in Hollywood, rumors about Savino and sexual harassment were pervasive in Hollywood for “at least a decade.”
6. Charlie Rose
As one of the co-anchors of CBS This Morning, periodic anchors of CBS Evening News, one of the hosts of Person to Person on CBS and the host of Charlie Rose on PBS since 1991, there were few people as respected in the news world as Charlie Rose.
Rose resigned in shame after the #MeToo movement ended his career on November 20th, 2017. Eight former female employees (or aspiring employees) of shows that Rose anchored came forward and accused him of either attempting to or successfully getting naked in front of them, groping them and making lewd phone calls to them.
The report came through the Washington Post and focused on Rose’s behavior from the mid-to-late 1990’s through 2011. He ended up being fired, which was covered on one of the shows that survived the scandal CBS This Morning, by his former co-workers like Gayle King (Oprah Winfrey’s best friend) who was clearly very emotional about the situation.
5. John Besh
John Besh is a famous chef from the United States who is also a philanthropist, owner of multiple restaurants and author of multiple cookbooks and books in general.
Besh reportedly perpetuated a culture of sexual harassment and misconduct at his restaurant. He’s been accused by 25 former employees. Besh addressed the allegations in a statement: “Two years ago, I deeply hurt those I love by thoughtlessly engaging in a consensual relationship with one member of my team”.
“Since then I have been seeking to rebuild my marriage and come to terms with my reckless actions given the profound love I have for my wife, my boys and my Catholic faith.” Celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain tweeted an image of the complaint filed against Besh’s group, calling it, “the beginning of the end of institutionalized Meathead Culture in the restaurant business.”
4. Matt Lauer
The most recent bombshell on this list comes from the king of NBC, Matt Lauer, who up until last week was the highest paid news personality in the medium — he was making upwards of $25 million dollars a year to host The Today Show.
As a part of that show from 1997 until 2017 (and also contributing to Dateline NBC for a time), Lauer was essentially “untouchable” at NBC. And despite the fact that numerous women had complained about Lauer to management over the years, nothing was done.
A former female employee stated that “Management suck[ed]” at the Today Show as nothing was done. Lauer was said (in a two-month investigation by Variety found) to have made lewd or sexually suggestive comments, initiate “inappropriate contact” while alone with women in a locked office.
He showed his penis to a coworker and also presented an unwanted sex toy to a coworker with a note on how he wanted to use it. Lauer was said to “prey” on female interns, pages, production assistants and booking agents as they had the least amount of power and were typically also the youngest.
3. Louis C.K.
The now confirmed reports of Louis C.K.’s bad behavior had been floating around for years. C.K. confirmed in an apology that the “stories [were] true.” He did say that he felt that it was “okay” to masturbate in front of these women because he had asked for their permission, but found that because they “admired” him that created a power dynamic that wasn’t okay.
His apology was torn to shreds in the media and the fallout was swift. His upcoming movie, I Love You Daddy, starring himself, John Malkovich and Chloe Grace Moretz, was pulled from distribution. Louis himself stating that he’s going to remove himself from the public eye for a significant amount of time.
2. Harvey Weinstein
The guy that started it all: Harvey Weinstein. As recently as two months ago, Weinstein was one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. It’s been claimed that he is the most thanked person in the history of the Academy Awards. His films have made millions, garnering prize after prize.
Everything came crashing when a bombshell report in The New York Times (and The New Yorker) revealed that he bullied women in the industry — a sleazebag who allegedly ruled with an iron fist and a “casting couch.”
New York Times journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey reported that Weinstein had engaged in sexual harassment and at times sexual assault over the course of three decades. He paid out eight settlements to actresses, female production assistants, temps and other employees.
Journalist Ronan Farrow later reported that Weinstein had allegedly sexually assaulted 13 women and raped three. Weinstein was fired from his own company. He asked for forgiveness, hoping for a “second chance” after he returned from treatment for “sex addiction.” His wife also left him.
1. Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck’s career took off with the Harvey Weinstein-produced film that he co-wrote with Matt Damon — Good Will Hunting. Affleck’s accusations stem from an appearance that he made on MTV back in 2003.
During an appearance on Total Request Live, Affleck “tweaked” the breast of actress and former host of TRL Hilarie Burton. Because the assault happened on camera — which Burton retweeted during her statement — Affleck immediately apologized by tweeting that he “… acted inappropriately towards Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”‘
He was also held accountable by Stephen Colbert on his show Late Night with Stephen Colbert in November of this year. He made things worse by saying that he didn’t remember doing it but that didn’t think Burton was making things up.
And it seems the Afflecks have a way with women. Ben younger brother, the most recent recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor, Casey Affleck, was also accused of sexual harassment on the “set” of his mockumentary I’m Still Here.