The #MeToo movement has been a boon for media sanctimony, particularly in the news media. The latest target of Hollywood’s sordid saga is Ryan Seacrest, the former “American Idol” host and media gadabout.
The New York Post’s Page Six took the case so seriously that they decided to … put an ad for a story featuring naked Oscar nominees right next to it. Because clearly that’s how best to convey just how serious of a problem treating women as objects is.
Seacrest is accused of sexually harassing and assaulting his stylist over a period of six years while she was at the E! Entertainment Network.
Page Six’s article detailed some of the difficulties that Seacrest might experience during his time leading E!’s coverage of the red carpet festivities at the Oscars this year.
“In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the red carpet has gone from pretty dresses to a political battleground — and Seacrest is public enemy No. 1,” the article, published Saturday, read.
“On Monday, less than one week before the Academy Awards, Variety ran an exclusive article detailing the E! host’s alleged sexual harassment of his former stylist Suzie Hardy from 2007 to 2013. Among other charges, Hardy claims that Seacrest groped her, slapped her behind so hard it left a welt still visible hours later and forced her head into his crotch multiple times while she tied the TV star’s shoes.”
Some eagle-eyed readers might have notices something a bit, well, off about what was linked on the same page.
Need a closer look? Here you go.
Yes, you can see every Best Acting nominee absolutely naked right after reading about a man who has allegedly exploited women as sex objects. No hypocrisy there.
To be fair, Seacrest has denied the allegations (and had preemptively denied them last fall.) In terms of the Post’s objectification, there’s not exactly a whole lot of plausible deniability behind what they did.
While the Post skews conservative, its Page Six gossip operation buys into all of the entertainment industry cliches, including a po-faced treatment of the deluge of sexual harassment and assault charges that have hit Hollywood, while at the same time peddling filth.
This hypocritical dichotomy has gone mostly unnoticed in Hollywood, a place where Meryl Streep can still be seen as a beacon of morality in spite of her closeness to people like Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski.
The value system of the media and entertainment industries is at least partially to blame for creating a milieu where inappropriate sexual behavior went entirely unchecked even though it was an open secret. If any real changes are to be made, both will need to change how they do business.
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