Whether true or not, the Bill Cosby rape allegations, combined with recent allegations of molestation against other Hollywood players, are unraveling the entertainment industry’s ability to cover up decadent behavior, from “casting couches” to abuse of minors.
Although the allegations against Cosby have existed for decades, they just went nuclear after comedian Hannibal Buress brought attention to them in his current stand-up routine.
“Bill Cosby has the f***ing smuggest old black man public persona that I hate,” Buress said. “He just gets on TV — ‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’”
“Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby. So, brings you down a couple notches.”
But the allegations against Cosby were largely ignored, Buress suggested, because of Cosby’s “Teflon image,” which one of Cosby’s accusers also alluded to.
“The entertainment world is rife with famous men who use their power to victimize and then silence young women who look up to them,” Barbara Bowman, the accuser who was once an aspiring actress, said. “Even when their victims speak out, the industry and the public turn blind eyes; these men’s celebrity, careers, and public adulation continue to thrive.”
But this appears to be changing.
For one thing, even if the allegations against Cosby are false, they are forcing a discussion on Hollywood sex abuse in general, which industry executives have spent decades trying to hide under fraud, lies and deceit.
“Every year, thousands of children swarm Hollywood in search of fame, but what they often find under the surface is a deep and disturbing underbelly of manipulation and abuse,” reads the synopsis of An Open Secret, a new documentary that exposes child molestation in Hollywood.
And the film wasn’t released to a limited audience; it premiered at DOC NYC, the country’s largest documentary film festival.
“…What I found really disturbing was the number of convicted pedophiles who are still being hired on set, on kids’ shows,” the film’s director, Amy Berg, said in an interview. “These are people who technically should be nowhere near children.”
“That was really upsetting.”
The documentary represents the growing backlash against an industry that, even outside of sex abuse, has routinely used and abused people like livestock.
“I have actress friends who are being put out to pasture at 29,” actor John Cusack said in an interview. “They just want to open up another can of hot 22.”
“It’s becoming almost like kiddie porn. It’s f***ing weird.”