Class Notes 10/24

We started class by brushing up on the movie Spotlight. We had watched it last class, but we watched a short news story about the movie to freshen our memory.

This short video was interesting because it showed the real life individuals that the movie portrayed. I saw how Martin Baron, Walter Robinson, Mitchell Garabedian, and Mike Rezendez, actually looked. This video also proved just how accurate the film was.

In today’s day and age, you see lots of movies based on real events, but the movies are changed and adjusted to be more appealing, intense, and ultimately attractive to in audience. In other words, a movies goal is to tell a story while receiving as much revenue and viewers as possible.

This is important to note because the movie spotlight actually didn’t adjust a whole lot. In fact, the movie is nearly identical to what actually took place. This says two things: 1. The director was focused on telling the truth and 2. The story was so naturally crazy, interesting, and intense that there wasn’t a need to make changes.

After this we had a discussion. Anelia asked how many have heard of this story before we watched be movie. Only one person did. This is surprising considering 1. How great the movie was and 2. How massive the original story was.

She asked us about movies we all like, or movies that are popular among millennial. The movies mentioned were: Holes, Titanic, Avatar, It, etc. How come these movies are so appealing and widely-known among millennials, while Spotlight, a fantastic movie based on a true story, is not.

She had a point. I was stumped by this and could not think of a reasonable answer.

Next, Anelia gave us 15 minutes to find another story that involved sexual abuse within an organization.

I immediately decided to follow up on the Terry Crews recent sexual assault case. I chose this one because Crews is a major figure in Hollywood and a former NFL football player. He is also known for his fitness, size, and overall health.

The fact that he admitted to being sexually assaulted actually says a lot. This says that ANYONE can be sexually assaulted, even a 6’3, 250 Lb, former NFL linebacker. This also showed that because anyone can be sexually assaulted, victims should not be afraid to speak out and tell someone.

According to the article, “Actor and former NFL star Terry Crews has claimed he was the victim of a sexual assault by a “high-level Hollywood executive”, but did not retaliate or speak out over the incident for fear of being ostracised or sent to jail.”

Crews was prompted to share his story in the wake of the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal. This is interesting because this type of situation happens a lot, especially during sexual abuse cases. What do I mean by “this type of situation”? I mean that when someone comes forward or something awful is brought to the surface, others who have been hiding something will feel prompted and safe enough to share their own story. This same thing happened in the movie spotlight, once the story was published, the Boston Globe received several calls the next day of other victims who had never told anyone about their experiences being sexually abused by a priest. Think of it like a domino-effect. Once on domino goes, they all do. The only problem is, it is sometimes extremely difficult push over the first domino.

“This whole thing with Harvey Weinstein is giving me PTSD. Why? Because this kind of thing happened to ME,” said Crews.

After this, showed us the soundbite of Harvey Weinstein and a women from 2015. It was disgusting to listen to. He was trying to take advantage of her. “Don’t embarrass me”, “I will never ask you to do this again, just give me 5 minutes”, “Come up to the hotel room”.

Weinstein is clearly a sexual predator that uses his power as a way to sexually assault women.

Next, we looked an article on the Rolling Stone and the Washington Post.

The dean of the University of Virginia sued the Rolling Stone for false portrayal in a retracted rape story.

The original story involved a UVA student by the name of Jackie and fellow male student.

According to the original document, “Want to go upstairs, where it’s quieter?” Drew shouted into her ear, and Jackie’s heart quickened. She took his hand as he threaded them out of the crowded room and up a staircase.”

Later, the Rolling Stone later published that “Drew” was fabricated by Jackie and that the name did not match anyone from the University.

Jackie also had originally reported that she was raped by seven men and that seven men took turns raping her. However, it was then published by the Rolling Stone that Jackie had originally told her friend, Renda, that she was raped by five men.

Moving on, the originally story also states “As the last man sank onto her, Jackie was startled to recognize him: He attended her tiny anthropology discussion group. He looked like he was going to cry or puke as he told the crowd he couldn’t get it up.”Pussy!” the other men jeered. “What, she’s not hot enough for you?” Then they egged him on: “Don’t you want to be a brother?”

This accusation, or story, was then countered or debunked as it turns out that “Phi Kappa PSI’s chapter pledging and initiation periods, as required by the University and Inter-Fraternity Council, take place solely in the spring semester and not in the fall semester. We document the initiation of new members at the end of each spring.”

Almost immediately after reading these three retractions, I can see why the dean of the University filed a lawsuit. The problem is, whether the women actually got sexually assaulted or not, the retractions made her seem less credible and that she was ultimately making the entire story up.


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