Anyone who works in media in any capacity keeps secrets.
Most of them are harmless: the vegetarian who eats bacon, the studio exec with an 8th grade education, the erudite gangster rapper.
But some people do very, very bad things and get away with it. For years.
Because they’re powerful. Because they’re rich. Because if you dare challenge them they’ll litigate you into a special kind of hell from which you will never re-emerge.
Even if you do win, you’ll be demonized by the unwashed internet masses because how dare you speak ill of Mr (or Ms.) Perfect? They make great media!
The accusations span a decade, and the women in his media circles have been warning each other to stay away for about that length of time.
But no one went to the police, because apparently the police in Canada aren’t any better at dealing with this sort of thing than the police here in Los Angeles, where they warehoused rape kits for years.
And that’s women who were assaulted by the hoi palloi, not the rich and powerful.
Here in our little Southern California media community, there is at least one serial rapist – not a sad sack who confuses BDSM and battery, an actual rapist – who has been at it for at least 8 years. Maybe longer.
No one that I know of has gone to the police because this person is very, very powerful and, well, that’s why. Even those who are raped by poor people face victim blaming, accusations of being liars and whores who secretly wanted it, etc..
Imagine how that gets magnified when one’s claim involves part of the city’s economic elite, or very, very famous.
Is it any wonder that we just quietly warn each other to stay away from Mr. (or Ms.) Nightmare?
Glances get exchanged, texts get sent, private messages fly around – stay away.
But it’s not a perfect system. Some don’t get the warning. And they have to suffer through the cycle of shame, anger, grief, guilt.
And said abuser walks free.
Because the abuser is above the law. And will likely never face the consequences.
And one could lose faith in the human race, except that Jian Ghomeshi is, finally, facing some (admittedly mild so far) consequences.
It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing, right?
P.S. For fuck’s sake – no comment guesses at any names, even if you know who it is. I can’t afford that kind of lawyer.