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The wall is crumbling: Ben Affleck the latest Hollywood star forced to apologize for mistreating a woman
This is just getting started.
Ordinarily I wouldn't post a "Ben Affleck grabbed a boob 15 years ago" piece. But these are not ordinary times, and what's noteworthy here is that this was a bit of an open secret until the fall of Harvey Weinstein, at which point those who'd known about it forever decided the atmosphere was right to call him out for it.
If you're a Hollywood alpha male and you've done something like this because you were sure you could get away with it, I'm guessing you're veeeerrry nervous right about now.
The incident happened in the early 2000s on MTV's Total Request Live, when Hilarie Burton was one of the VJs, and when MTV still played music. Here's the video:
You can't actually see where Affleck's hand goes, but according to Burton he "tweaked her boob" rather blatantly. And if it wasn't true, I don't think Affleck would have apologized, as he did yesterday but only after Burton and Shanice Brim collaborated to call him out. This was in response to Affleck's condemnation of Weinstein, which Burton and Brim found a bit hollow considering Affleck's own groping of Burton.
These are the times when I feel some sympathy for the man-hating feminists. I know they take it way too far, and many reveal themselves to be complete frauds by embracing women like Hillary Clinton, who was a gigantic enabler of one of the biggest sexist cads of all time. But there are an awful lot of women who are just trying to make it in their chosen field, and find themselves putting up with awful treatment like this from powerful men who are convinced they can do anything they want without consequence.
It's clear by now that Harvey Weinstein pretty much was living his entire life this way, and would it really surprise anyone to learn that Ben Affleck operated in the same manner?
Yet today he found it necessary to issue an apology, however compelled you may believe it to be:
I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) October 11, 2017
It's not so much that I'm impressed by the apology. I'm really not, and I'm convinced he only issued it because the heat was on, he couldn't deny it and he had no choice.
And that's the point. If men who did these sorts of things with impunity for years now are forced to apologize, then things are really changing, at least for the moment. Women who used to be afraid to speak up now believe they can do so, and that's how this sort of behavior can be stopped.
The question, though, is whether things revert back to normal once the public's attention is off the matter and onto something else. I'd like to think that won't happen, but I fear the light of accountability on this will only last until the public moves on to something else. For now, though, the abusers and gropers have to be sweating bullets.
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!