There are salutary indignations which are transformed into unworthy crusades. An oratorical precaution is necessary to avoid trials of intent and, above all, to unnecessarily hurt the victims, men or women, of harassment or sexual assault: it is obviously out of the question to accept, tolerate or accommodate modestly of any form of sexual harassment and even less of sexual assault or crimes. The trauma, physical and/or psychological suffered by the victims does not suffer from any justification or attenuation.
A quasi-Soviet erasure
This being clarified and sincere, let us dwell on the surreal case of Kevin Spacey. Accused of sexual harassment, the actor will be completely "erased" from Ridley Scott's latest film For all the money in the world which is scheduled for release at the end of 2017 and the scenes in which he appeared again shot by another actor.
We do not believe his eyes. And this quasi-Soviet erasure is only the latest avatar of a pillory which reveals its share of bad news every week. Before that, the Netflix channel had decided to put an end to the series House of Cards, followed closely by the Academy of the Emmy Awards which renounced to award him an Emmy of honor. Soon the removal of his star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood?
Nobody knows the facts!
For Kevin Spacey, the account is good. Those who praised him yesterday are changing sidewalks today. This is the specter of the social plague, of professional death, when an investigation has just been opened and only the version of the putative victims is known. And it is not doing them an insult to consider that no element in its favor will be found there.
The problem is that we do not know at the present time what he would have perhaps, really or not done. We don't know anything because he didn't recognize anything, because the police haven't had time to investigate yet. But that does not prevent Netflix from deciding on the end of a series whose success has not been denied for five seasons. The sixth currently being filmed will be the last. Ditto for the Academy of Emmy Awards which was to reward the work of a lifetime. But no matter, the essential is elsewhere. The bottom line is that in an America and a world where a new wave of puritanism is sweeping, it becomes unthinkable to be associated in any way with someone accused, sometimes even anonymously, of sexual harassment. His work ? what work? his Oscars, his Tony Award, his 83 films and series. Disappeared. Everything seems gangrenous by these accusations dumped on the web as in a manure pit.
Sentenced on the Internet
Because that's where it's at. On the Internet. The police stations? Useless. Courts ? Overwhelmed. The time has come for digital "immediate appearances": study, investigation and judgment in 1 hour flat. It's time for mandatory immediacy and truths told in 140 characters. Most often to the detriment of accuracy and of the accused, of course. But it's the time that wants that. It's the fashion.
However, if nothing justifies sexual assault of any kind whatsoever, if nothing legitimizes forcing someone who does not want to, the proper administration of justice requires taking into account all the facts of a file. The good administration of life in society imposes, as for it, not to participate in the quarry, in the media outburst, in the social killing which does not come from information but from the editorial.
Kevin Spacey has become an outcast. And a pariah, scandal press aside, it loses audience shares, investors, and therefore money. So much for the presumption of innocence. It is better to shoot again many scenes of a feature film with what that entails in terms of additional costs (shooting urgently, rehiring the technical teams and the other actors, rebuilding the sets, moving again in the natural sets, re-editing the film …) rather than risk going to the cinema with this brilliant actor who has become untouchable. And the same reasoning apply to the series House of Cards and the Emmy Awards Academy fearful of losing its private sponsors, its public grants.
Too bad, especially, for Kevin Spacey and all the others caught in this torrent of public denunciations in which we no longer bother with the anonymity of those concerned. How to repair, if necessary, the calumny and the insult of a #balancetonporc published and then shared with, let's face it, sick fun. We know the shattered lives for which a possible dismissal will never wash away the indelible stain, this stigma which will forever remain the mark of infamy.
The danger is looming
It is never good in a democracy to privatize sovereign missions. Justice is one. It is not up to the "twittos" and other Facebook fanatics to come and denounce with absolute sentences who is the author of what aggression. When McCarthyism meets the sexual temperance leagues, the danger appears. The danger of being accused without proof, dirtied, of being attached to a digital wheel, the internet forgetting nothing. It is the risk of the opening of a witch hunt of which we must ask ourselves, before it gets worse, if the collateral damage, the false accusations, the sordid settling of accounts, the petty revenge, the suspicion just a click away, well worth it.
Clearing the voices of victims, certainly, especially for sexual offenses where we know how difficult it is to overcome the trauma suffered. But with professional investigators and not in the troughs of social networks.
Source: © Kevin Spacey, actor and martyr of sexual McCarthyism – Talker