It's been a less-than-pleasant month for Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein – as decades of abuse of power against women, ranging from mild sexual harassment to abuse to investigations of rape. The firestorm has emboldened other women and some men even to come forward and talk about the abuse and harrassment they faced from Hollywood executives and big name actors like Kevin Spacey.
Which brings us to Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Ulrich was interviewed by 92nd Street Y and was asked about the firestorm surrounding Weinstein and he chimed in in support of the victims:
“Everywhere is gonna have a reckoning. And I think the great thing is that we’re in the first inning of this, and, obviously, it’s long overdue. And I think that it’s a great, great thing that everybody is standing up and that everybody, no matter what gender they are, feels safe in talking about their experiences and that, as a victim in any kind of situation, that you don’t feel that you have to carry it yourself, that you have a platform and that you can feel safe in there. So that’s the good part.”
The next part of Ulrich's statement could read as controversial, but without discounting anything he said in the previous paragraph, I do think it's something to note:
“The part that becomes questionable, I think, at some point is when it becomes a sort of like — and I’ve gotta choose my words carefully so I don’t get in trouble — but when it becomes a trial in the court of public opinion.
“At some point — which obviously hasn’t happened yet — but at some point, a month from now, a year from now, five years from now, somebody is gonna accuse somebody else of doing something that may not be exactly truthful. And when that happens, you’re gonna get into… Basically, what’s happening is you go straight to execution. When somebody gets accused of something, then it goes straight… and then your life will change forever. And there will be a point somewhere down the line where somebody’s life is gonna get changed because of potentially false accusation. And when that happens, I hope that we can find ways to, sort of, navigate as a society, media just through that, and hopefully that we make the best choices. Because that is in front of us at some point.”
Look, of course there is a chance that things like this could happen, but I do not think that when somebody comes forward, their opinions should be discounted. And in the case of Harvey Weinstein or a Kevin Spacey, it's hard to imagine so many people coming forward looking to make a quick buck.
Ultimately, harassers and abusers of power like this need to be called out and stomped out. Fuck 'em.