Let’s face it, men can get away with a lot in the entertainment business, including, but not limited to, domestic violence and/or sexual assault against women. Accusations, allegations and charges can’t seem to stop men from making money and staying in the spotlight — or even becoming president.
Take Floyd Mayweather, arguably the most famous boxer of the 21st century. Last week, he defended Trump’s Access Hollywood “grab ‘em by the pussy” comments. Speaking with Hollywood Unlocked, Mayweather had this to say about Trump’s “locker room talk”:
"People don’t like the truth... He speak like a real man spoke. Real men speak like, 'Man, she had a fat ass. You see her ass? I had to squeeze her ass. I had to grab that fat ass.' Right? So he talking locker room talk. Locker room talk. 'I’m the man, you know what I’m saying? You know who I am. Yeah, I grabbed her by the pussy. And?'"
Now when his comments hit the news, Mayweather got semi-dragged on Twitter. Because luckily some people haven’t forgotten that he’s a serial domestic abuser. That’s what makes Mayweather’s comments all the more distressing. Mayweather served six months in prison in 2010 for beating the mother of three of his children while his ten-year-old son watched. He even got out of prison three months early for good behavior. Years before that attack, he had plead guilty to two counts of battery domestic violence in 2001 and 2002.
At the end of the day, he might get dragged on Twitter, but he still got at least $100 million from his most recent match. And as of this week, his current headline story is the purchase of a $26 million dollar home. So yes, Mayweather the convicted domestic abuser shares his views on “real men” with Trump. And yes, he gets to share these views for an audience and yes, he still gets his giant paychecks.
One of the more horrifying aspects of this kind of story is that it’s not isolated. Mayweather’s comments and status are indicative of our continued acceptance of men who are violent against women. We as a society continue to normalize, accept and celebrate men who have done despicable things to women.
Nineteen years old and rising in popularity, Florida rapper XXXTenacion, real name Jahseh Onfroy, is set to go on trial in October for domestic abuse. Onfroy is accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time of the alleged beatings. The victim’s testimony to a public defender in Miami was leaked by Pitchfork (warning: graphic descriptions of violence).
The founder and CEO of EMPIRE, the music label Onfory is signed to, Ghazi Shami told Pitchfork, “XXXTentacion is a unique talent and we’re excited to be in partnership with him and helping him bring his vision to life.”
This comment was in response to a Pitchfork article on Onfroy’s release from prison on robbery charges and his upcoming domestic abuse trial!
Another young Floridian rapper is facing sexual assault charges while also gaining major popularity as a musician. Kodak Black, real name Dieuson Octave, is facing sexual assault charges for allegedly raping a South Carolina woman after one of his concerts. Both of the alleged victims of Octave and Onfroy were reportedly fans of the rappers.
As of this week, XXXTenacion holds the sixth spot on the Billboard 200, with Kodak Black coming in at the number 14 spot. These men are rising stars in rap. That both of these popular rappers have allegations of extreme sexual abuse is, and should be, worrying.
And it’s not just athletes and young men facing these types of allegations. Sexual assault allegations against major director Woody Allen have been circulating since 1993. It is alleged Allen molested his and Mia Farrow's daughter Dylan when she was 8 years old. Even though there was public outrage from the Farrow family about Allen’s lifetime achievement award at the 2014 Golden Globes, it seems the allegations continue to be dismissed. Allen is filming a currently-untitled movie with young starlets Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning. His Amazon series with Miley Cyrus, Crisis in Six Scenes, was a major flop, but Amazon paid a reported $80 million to get it made.
Yes, these allegations are allegations — excluding Mayweather’s guilty pleas. However, violence against women is real and pervasive and we need to be careful of who we celebrate. Let’s believe these women who make allegations against famous men. We need to stop sweeping these kinds of crimes and accusations under the rug and talk about them when men like these remain in the spotlight.
We should pay attention to who we are spending our time and money supporting. Support for abusers is prevalent in entertainment, so let’s hold men (and everybody) accountable for their vile, unacceptable actions and think twice before we spend money supporting abusers. Think of the victims who had to live through horrible violence and now watch as their abusers are celebrated.
Top photo via Hollywood Unlocked
Bottom photos via Billboard 200
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Kat Kothen-Hill is a BUST intern living in Brooklyn, NY.
Follow her on Twitter:@katkothenhill and on Instagram:kitkatkothenhill.