This photo of Harvey Weinstein being arrested has gone viral for a powerful reason
From time to time, there will be a scandal coming out of Hollywood, where an actor is revealed to be difficult to work with, or some other star has stepped over the line. Yet over the last eight months, we have seen more and more instances of sexual misconduct being brought into the public eye.
It seems that those that never spoke up, due to threats or worries over whether their own careers will survive it, have now found the courage to speak openly about the toxic behaviour they have been witness to. The #MeToo movement and Time's Up campaign brought people together to tell their stories and highlight other men who have sexually assaulted or otherwise mistreated others in the movie industry, pushing for real change in the world.
At the center of this all is Harvey Weinstein, the now-disgraced movie producer who has been accused by countless women of misconduct since October. On Friday, eight months after the allegations first emerged, he has handed himself into the police. He arrived at the New York Police Department's first precinct, in the Tribeca area of Manhattan, at 7:15 am, where he will face charges of sexual assault.
The 66-year-old was charged with first and third-degree rape in one case and first-degree criminal sex act in another. The details of these particular victims have not been made public, but numerous women have publicly accused him of assault in the past, harassment and misconduct in Hollywood - including Kate Beckinsale, Rose McGowan, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
In fact, Italian actress, singer, and director Asia Argento recently made an incredibly powerful speech at the Cannes Film Festival. She started her speech by stating "In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein, here at Cannes," before she called out the people like him still working in the industry.
It's fair to say that Weinstein's long overdue arrest has been seen as a historic moment and a small victory, with one image summarizing it all:
The photo of female detective, Sgt. Keri Thompson, escorting Weinstein out of the courtroom in handcuffs has been retweeted from New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor's account over 5,000 times and liked over 20,000 times. Kantor, along with Megan Twohey, was the journalist that first broke the story about Weinstein in October last year.
The responses to this tweet show just how big of a moment this was for so many out there.
Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, who have been two of the most prominent and outspoken women on the subject of Weinstein and sexual assault in Hollywood, also gave powerful reactions:
It wasn't lost on Kantor the irony of the arrest taking place in Tribeca, home of the film festival where Weinstein conducted a large portion of his work.
If found guilty, Weinstein could face up to 25 years in prison. However, there have been over 75 women accusing him of sexual misconduct, with investigations conducted against him in both London and California, so the charges may grow.
He was released on $1 million bail, and will be monitored electronically. His passport has been confiscated and he has been banned from travelling outside of New York and Connecticut during this process.