On the surface, Hollywood seems like a land of glitz and glamour. I mean, Angelina Jolie! Gwyneth Paltrow! Reese Witherspoon! Jennifer Lawrence! Unfortunately, what all of these women have in common – besides their Oscars, of course – is that they have recently, publicly shared horrifying stories of inappropriate behavior they endured while working in the entertainment industry.
Recently, many actresses have come forward with scary stories of encounters they’ve had with men in Hollywood. Though, this is not a new trend in Hollywood. This disrespect and disregard for women has long been part of the culture in Hollywood. Until recently, many women have feared speaking out for they may face backlash and shunning in the industry. With media and society being less forgiving of men who take advantage of women, it is now a culture in which women feel comfortable speaking out about these situations, and so there's been an outpouring of stories.
The true issue in Hollywood is the disproportionate distribution of power between genders. Women have more difficulty advancing to executive positions in which they can have a say in the films being made. On top of that, women only make up 23 percent of the Directors Guild of America. So, actresses are unfortunately left to the wills of men who get to decide what stories to tell and how to tell them. This gives men the power to demand, intimidate, and take advantage of young actresses.
Unfortunately men who prey on women in Hollywood come in all shapes and sizes. Whether it’s a famous actor who plays a superhero in a franchise, a producer who was known as the most powerful man in Hollywood, or a conservation talk show host, all the people on this list may seem like charismatic power players in Hollywood, but, in truth, they are dangerous people to avoid at all costs.
Below are 16 of the dirtiest people in Hollywood, though these are only the names of people women have been brave enough to speak out against.
16 Harvey Weinstein: 30 Years Of Terror In Hollywood
Harvey Weinstein had long been regarded as the most powerful producer in Hollywood. Most notably, he produced Pulp Fiction, a film that is largely credited with changing the storytelling narrative in films. Weinstein also produced The English Patient, winner of 9 Academy Awards.
Weinstein is also known for producing films which had propelled actresses to their first Academy Award win, like Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love, Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago, Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Lining Playbook, and Renee Zellweger in Cold Mountain. For a young actress, working with Harvey Weinstein seemed like finally arriving in Hollywood, as it assures access, fame, and critical acclaim.
Unfortunately, Harvey Weinstein used his power to his advantage. In October, allegations of inappropriate behavior surfaced. Stories came from Ashley Judd to Rose McGowan to Lupita Nyong’o to Gwyneth Paltrow to Angelina Jolie. Many of the stories involve Weinstein cornering women in hotel rooms with unprofessional requests in exchange for a film role. Though, there are also some stories of criminal behavior on Harvey Weinstein’s part.
After these stories surfaced, Harvey Weinstein was fired from his production company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences. His wife, Georgina Chapman, left him and denounced his behavior.
15 Bob Weinstein: Remained Quiet And Benefited From Harvey
Harvey Weinstein’s brother, Bob Weinstein, has landed in some hot water as well.
After Harvey was released from his position at the Weinstein Company, Bob took over as head of the company. Though, there are some people who question just how much Bob knew about Harvey's behavior. While Bob has denies knowing anything about Harvey’s behavior towards women, Bob’s ex-assistant claims that he knew all along. Amanda Segel, a show-runner on the Weinstein Company’s The Mist, actually came forward will allegations about Bob Weinstein. While Bob Weinstein has denied these allegations, the fact remains that it’s highly unlikely Harvey was able to pay off victims without Bob, known as "the number cruncher" of the brothers, knowing.
Bob Weinstein stayed quiet and profited off of Harvey Weinstein for years. This silence in exchange for success is exactly what creates the type of environment in which a man like Harvey Weinstein can behave like this for 30 years.
14 Casey Affleck: Sued By Two Women In 2010
Casey Affleck swept the awards season last year for his performance in Manchester by the Sea. In the end, he even took home the highest honor: the Academy Award. However, many people – both in Hollywood and us little people – felt odd praising and honoring a man who has two lawsuits brought against him.
In 2010, Casey Affleck had two separate harassment lawsuits brought against him by women who worked on his experimental film, I’m Still Here. Both cases were settled out of court for undisclosed sums. Despite settling, Casey Affleck as insisted on his innocence stating, “People say whatever they want. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you respond... I guess people think if you’re well-known, it’s perfectly fine to say anything you want. I don’t know why that is. But it shouldn’t be, because everybody has families and lives.”
Well, Brie Larson was not here for honor Casey Affleck. After winning an Oscar for her performance in Room, Larson has been an outspoken champion for survivors of abuse, harassment, and assault. As is tradition in Hollywood, Brie Larson, winner of the previous year’s lead actress award, announced the winner for lead actor at both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. At both ceremonies, Larson looks displeased with Casey Affleck’s win, handed him his award, and refused to clap. You go, Brie Larson.
13 Ben Affleck: The Hilarie Burton On TRL Incident
Every wants to like Ben Affleck. He co-wrote Good Will Hunting! He married Jennifer Garner! He's friggin' Batman! However, Affleck is making it hard to like him.
After the years of Harvey Weinstein’s terror surfaced, Affleck responded in a statement claiming he had no idea of these stories, despite his years of working alongside Weinstein. Rose McGowan tweeted a rebuttal in which she claimed Affleck knew about her situation and said, “Goddamnit! I told him to stop doing that.”
Affleck didn’t respond to McGowan’s tweet, but he did respond to Hilarie Burton’s tweet. The One Tree Hill actress met Ben Affleck while she was hosting MTV’s TRL. Following Affleck's statement on Weinstein, video footage surfaced of Ben Affleck putting his arm around Hilarie Burton’s shoulders and touching her inappropriately through this action. Burton laughed it off, but later said she only did so in order not to cry.
After this was brought to light, Affleck tweeted, “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”
12 Matt Damon: Long-Time Supporter Of Shady Guys
Speaking of people we all want to like, let’s talk about Matt Damon. Damon has long been attached to projects with Ben and Casey Affleck. Way back when, Matt Damon and Ben jump-started their careers together by writing and starring in Good Will Hunting. Though, Damon’s collaborations with the Affleck brothers didn’t stop there. Damon produced Manchester by the Sea, which won Casey his first Academy Award.
Furthermore, Matt Damon has long collaborated with Harvey Weinstein, who served as a producer on many of his films. When the stories of Weinstein’s 30 years of inappropriate behavior broke, Damon claimed, like Ben Affleck, that he had no idea. However, Damon has since come forward and said he knew about Gwyneth Paltrow’s particular encounter with Harvey Weinstein. Evidently, Damon heard about Paltrow’s encounter through Ben Affleck, who had been dating Paltrow. Unfortunately, this only further proves that Ben Affleck did, in fact, know about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior, contrary to his original statement.
Matt Damon has been married for over a decade to the non-famous Luciana Bozan Barroso. He himself has never faced any allegation, but in supporting men who have disrespected, harassed, and assaulted women, Matt Damon is complicit in this culture.
11 Russell Crowe: Helped Kill An Article About Harvey
When the stories about Harvey Weinstein broke, many people wondered how this had happened for so long. Sharon Waxman, who founded The Wrap, explained that she attempted to write a story about Weinstein in 2004, but it was killed. It seems that while working at the New York Times, whose detailed investigation brought these allegations to light in 2017, Sharon Waxman investigated Weinstein. However, the plug was pulled on her story when none other than Matt Damon and Russell Crowe allegedly called the New York Times themselves to persuade them not to run the story.
Like Matt Damon, Russell Crowe is free of any allegations himself, but in stopping this story in 2004, Russell Crowe and Matt Damon may be responsible for the thirteen years that followed, during which Weinstein continued his horrible behavior towards women in the entertainment industry.
10 Lindsay Lohan: Straight-Up Defended Harvey Weinstein
With 1998’s Parent Trap, then 2004’s Mean Girls, it seemed Lindsay Lohan was doing to do the impossible. She was a huge child star, who had somehow found a way into being a teen star and young adult star. The adorable kid who turned redhead hottie was on the cusp of super-stardom, that is until she derailed her own career. After the partying, paparazzi photos, and DUIs, Lohan was unofficially blacklisted from Hollywood. Now, Lohan spends her time across the Atlantic, documenting adventures on her social media.
During her time in Hollywood, Lohan worked with Harvey Weinstein on a couple of movies, which may explain why she took to social defended Weinstein against all the allegations. Lohan took to Instagram Stories to post videos in which she said she feels “Very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now, and I don’t think it’s right what’s going on. He’s never harmed me or done anything to me. So I think everybody needs to stop.” Lohan went on to urge Georgine Chapman, Weinstein’s wife who announced she was leaving him, to stand by Weinstein.
While Lohan’s erratic and bizarre behavior has come to be expected, defending a man who has dozens and dozens of female accusers is not to be expected nor tolerated. Though, Lohan is not the only woman who has defended Weinstein. Donna Karan, famous fashion designer, defended Weinstein by suggesting the women were “asking for it.”
To be clear, neither of these women perpetrated any misdoings on their own, but defending a man who has dozens of accusers helps maintain an environment in which Harvey Weinstein can do whatever he wants. This is not the type of environment that is safe for women.
9 Hugh Hefner: Accusations About The Man Who Created Playboy
Hugh Hefner built an empire off the exploitation of women. Of course, there are some ways to defend the Playboy brand. The first being freedom, liberation, and self-expression. Founded in 1953, Playboy helped usher in a culture of sensual self-expression and freedom. Though, at what cost? As one could also argue that making a profit off the exploitation of young, beautiful, women could be seen as a immoral practice. So you see, there are two sides to the Playboy argument.
Wherever you fall on the loving or hating Playboy spectrum, Holly Madison did reveal some shocking secrets about the mansion. In her memoir, Madison wrote of a 9 o’clock curfew for the Playmates, as well as group… um, parties. Hefner also paid for plastic alterations, any cosmetic services, and a weekly $1,000 wardrobe budget. For as much as Hefner promoted freedom through his publication, it seems he was very controlling of his Playmates.
Even in his death, he’s found a way to control his most famous Playmate: Marilyn Monroe. Monroe was featured in the first issue of Playboy, which sold 50,000 copies. Though he never met her, Hefner purchased the crypt next to Monroe stating, “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is an opportunity too sweet to pass up.” Which, gross.
8 Bill O'Reilly: Fired From Fox Over Allegations
Bill O’Reilly is a political commentator, who hosted Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor from 1996 to 2017. During its run, The O’Reilly Factor was the highest-rated cable news show for 16 years. O'Reilly was considered Fox News’ biggest star. This year, it was revealed that O’Reilly and Fox News had settled five different lawsuits with settlements totally $13 million. Upon this news coming to light, Fox News fired O’Reilly, though it should be noted that O'Reilly was only fired when the media reported on the lawsuits, not when Fox News originally found out about the lawsuit details.
Following O'Reilly's firing, it was reported that another settlement for a whopping $32 million was paid out by O’Reilly to a former Fox News analyst. O’Reilly has denied there is anything truth to the allegations, but the overwhelming response to that simply no one would ever pay out $32 million for false allegations.
7 Robin Antin: Pussycat Dolls Creator Faces Accusations
In 1995, Robin Antin created Pussycat Dolls, which was a modern burlesque troupe. Since then, the group diversified to many different medias, including the pop group for which the name The Pussycat Dolls is most related. Kaya Jones was part of The Pussycat Dolls, up until before their album was released. This year, Jones tweeted allegations that Antin’s girl group was really a [x-rated] ring, which was why she left right before the group achieved huge fame. Jones went on to also comment on how little they were paid.
Robin Antin has absolutely denied all these claims, leaving some to wonder if Jones was actually just using a metaphor in describing the girl group as a prostitution ring for how exploited they were and how little money they made. Whatever the case, it's noteworthy that allegations arise for women in the industry as well.
6 Bill Cosby: Incidences Between 1965 – 2008
For decades, Bill Cosby was a pioneer in the stand-up comedy and television world. Most notably, The Bill Cosby Show ran from 1984 to 1992. The Bill Cosby Show highlighted the experience of an African-American family and was the #1 show in American for five years during its run. For that, The Bill Cosby Show is culturally significant, as it paved the way for other sitcoms about non-white families to be made.
During Cosby’s rise though, he had been taking advantage of women between the years 1965 – 2008. Cosby has denied any wrongdoing, but more than 50 different women have come forward with accusations about Cosby. Many of these allegations fall outside the statuses of limitations, but Cosby is due in court for a retrial in Spring 2018 involving an incident that occurred in 2004.
5 Woody Allen: Accused Of Quite A Few Despicable Things
81-year-old Woody Allen has continued to work and be honored with awards in Hollywood despite the many alarming allegations against him.
To explain the allegations, we have to go back to Woody Allen’s relationship with Mia Farrow, which lasted from 1980 to 1992. Before marrying Woody Allen, Mia Farrow had adopted Soon-Yi Previn with her former-husband Andre Previn. Then, Farrow divorced Previn and began a relationship with Allen. Through this new family structure, Allen acted as a parental figure in the life of adopted Soon-Yi.
Through Mia Farrow’s discovery of some rated-R Polaroid photos in 1991, it came to light that Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn were in a relationship. While Soon-Yi denies any assault on Allen’s part, the fact that Allen had acted as a parental figure to adopted Soon-Yi then dated her does raise some eyebrows.
After this, Mia Farrow and Woody Allen separated. At which point, Allen and Soon-Yi began a public relationship, and would later marry. Following the Farrow-Allen separation, Farrow and Allen engaged in a custody battle over their two adopted children, Dylan and Moses Farrow, and one biological child, Ronan Farrow. During these battles, Dylan Farrow accused Woody Allen of inappropriate behavior, which he has denied.
While courts have found Woody Allen innocent on the allegations by Dylan Farrow, the fact remains that Allen did marry Soon-Yi Previn. This may not have been illegal, but it’s enough to weird out most people.
4 Nate Parker: His Accuser Suffered Deep Emotional Wounds
It seems Nate Parker’s situation ruined his Hollywood career just as it was about to take off.
Parker’s directorial debut, The Birth of a Nation, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Fox Searchlight bought the worldwide rights for $17.6 million, the largest Sundance deal to date. There was even talk of Oscar nominations before the film’s release. But that all stopped as soon as Parker’s past came to light.
While attending college in 1999, Nate Parker, along with his wrestling teammate, were accused of taking physically taking advantage of a woman. The young women was intoxicated and unconscious when she was taken advantage of, but a medical examination concluded that she was, indeed, taken advantage of. Parker was acquitted of conviction, but the situation didn’t stop there.
Parker and his teammate hired a private investigator, who passed her photo and her story around campus. This resulted in students bullying the young women, chanting things about her being a liar and a faker. The woman sued Pennsylvania State University, the college where this took place, for failing to protect her from harassment. She won the case, but that didn’t heal the emotional wounds. In 2012, she ended her life.
And just four years after that, it seemed Nate Parker was going to win an Oscar and become Hollywood's darling. However, media stories about this situation surfaced and The Birth of a Nation was largely ignored at the box office and during awards season.
This behavior took place before Nate Parker became a power player in Hollywood, but it essentially ended his Hollywood career. As of this moment, Parker is not attached to any projects, his last being The Birth of a Nation.
3 R. Kelly: The Underage Tape
Somehow, R. Kelly’s career has been able to survive allegation after allegation after allegation. The singer/songwriter/producer has released hits such as “Bump N’ Grind,” “I Believe I Can Fly,” “Ignition (Remix),” and many, many others. Kelly's disgusting behavior dates back to the '90s, which means that even through all the allegations that have surfaced, Kelly has still been able to have a successful musical career.
In 1994, R. Kelly, 27 at the time, married up-and-coming Aaliyah, who was just 15 years old. The marriage certificate, however, falsely stated Aaliyah was 18. That same year, the marriage was annulled. Following this short-lived marriage, neither parties ever spoke about their time together to the media. The following year, a woman sued R. Kelly for inappropriate behavior towards her when she was just 15 years old. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum.
For R. Kelly, the 2000s was a time during which a tape with an underage girl surfaced, an intern sued him for underage harassment, another underage tape surfaced, underage photos surfaced, and two other women sued R. Kelly for similar actions. But still, "Ignition (Remix)" was somehow one of the most popular songs during this decade, despite all the disturbing news about the singer.
In 2017, stories alleging Kelly is running a cult surfaced. These stories claim he controls the lives of six different women living with him.
2 Roman Polanski: The Years Of Legal Trouble
Before dozens of actresses voiced their stories about Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski was Hollywood’s dirties producer. Though, we shouldn’t compare one to the other. Just because there are horrifying stories of Weinstein’s behavior, that doesn’t mean Polanski is now innocent.
In 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested and charged with criminal activity involving a 13-year-old girl. Polanski pleaded guilty to the charges. Notably, Hollywood still honored Roman Polanski’s work following this incident. In 2003, Polanski won the Best Director Academy Award for The Pianist. Polanski wasn’t even able to accept the award himself because he’s a US fugitive, having fled the country in 1978. Which really makes you wonder why Hollywood honored a man who couldn't even collect his award because of his crimes against a young woman. Really, Hollywood? Really?!
Following the outpouring of stories involving Weinstein, a woman came forward with a story dating back to 1975. The woman recalled an incident that occurred with Roman Polanski when she was just 10 years old.
1 Errol Flynn: Old Hollywood Had Its Scandals Too
The indefensible treatment of women isn’t something new in Hollywood. In fact, you can find stories of harassment, abuse, and disrespect dating back to the early days of Hollywood. One such figure was Old Hollywood star Errol Flynn, who was so good with the ladies, he inspired the phrase, “In like Flynn.” However, it seems that Errol Flynn got it “in” with two underage women.
Peggy Satterlee and Betty Hansen brought charges against Errol Flynn. During the court hearing, Flynn seemed unconcerned, as he was more interested in pursuing the 18-year-old cigarette girl of the courthouse. Flynn supposedly said, “I carefully checked her age. She was eighteen, safe ground.” Well, that’s good because Satterlee and Hanson were certainly not 18 at the time he pursued them, though Flynn was found completely innocent of the charges. The reason Flynn won the trail is largely attributed to his movie star status. This court appearance didn’t even knock down said status. Flynn was said to have fallen from frame after the backlash he received for not enlisting in the army during WWII.
Years later, at the age of 50, Errol Flynn finally found "the love of his life." She was 15 years old. So, there’s that for you.
Sources: Huffingtonpost.com, Allthingscrimeblog.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Newyorker.com, Etonline.com, TheAtlantic.com, People.com, CNN.com, Theguardian.com, BBC.com, USAToday.com, NYTimes.com, Variety.com, Spin.com, Thedailybeast.com