Almost a year after explosive reports detailed alleged sexual misconduct by Hollywood powerhouse Harvey Weinstein, setting off a movement of confession, accountability and reckoning, TheWrap publishes a 13-part series about the impact on accusers one year later.
Reported by Itay Hod and Sharon Waxman and edited by TheWrap senior editorial team led by Managing Editor Thom Geier, the series is a multimedia look at the aftermath for accusers in text, video and photography.
Over the past three months Hod and Waxman spoke to a dozen women and men who had previously shared harrowing stories of sexual misconduct by some of the biggest names in media, politics and entertainment.
Those interviews reveal that the act of coming forward — sometimes years after the event — has taken its toll. One survivor was dropped by her TV news station. Another is considering changing her name because of the lasting social stigma. While many have felt a huge burden lifted, their journeys over the past year have not been easy or without consequences.
As the lead article states: “For some, the last year has been marked with a barrage of attacks from internet trolls. Others have lost their jobs. Quite a few have said they were disappointed at the direction the movement has taken over the last year. Almost all have experienced what experts call ‘secondary traumatization.'”
The series interviewed 12 individuals who said that industry giants like Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and Russell Simmons had committed a range of sexual misconduct, from inappropriate propositions to rape.
Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan said: “I have lived a life of much trauma, but this past year was such an intensely condensed trauma it took everything I had to withstand the gale-force winds. The thing about wind, though, it passes and if you lean in, you’ll find you’re still there as it fades.”
Russell Simmons’ accuser Drew Dixon said: “I’m not thinking about him. It’s about me letting go of the pain, letting go of the burden of carrying his secret, of being an accomplice to his crime after the fact in some ways, by covering it up for him.”
Bruce Weber accuser Jason Boyce said: “As a straight man, we have our own stigmas and there is a societal stigma with sexual assault… And I couldn’t live with that. At the time I just thought I was just going to die with this… There are some days when I get up and I sit in my car and I cry. I don’t know why and that’s not something that I did before.”
The articles will be published on September 13 and 14.