#MeToo Is Picking Up Momentum Again, This Time With ’00s Sitcom Stars

Kevin Connolly

WARNING: This article contains information about sexual assault which may be triggering to survivors.

On October 5, 2017, a lengthy article appeared in the New York Post.

Simply titled, Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades, the exposé would soon become the most talked-about piece of journalism in the world.

Reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey lifted the lid on one of the most shocking sexual predators of our time — media mogul, Harvey Weinstein.

At the time, the stories were alleged and detailed his exploits sexually harassing and sexually assaulting women for decades, paying them off with tightly bound contracts and hush money.

Almost two-and-a-half years later, Weinstein was sentenced in New York to 23 years in prison — with more charges to come in California for his sex crimes.

After the release of the article, stories began to surface from fellow survivors of sexual misconduct in industries all around the globe.

Following this, the #MeToo movement (a term inspired by activist Tarana Burke, who coined the phrase in 2006) was born.

Harvey Weinstein
Getty Images

Victims, including Charmed actor Alyssa Milano, urged victims to share their stories in hopes it would show the universality of the issue, in turn ousting CEOs, Media Personalities and other public figures including Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios.

In 2018, the Time’s Up initiative, spearheaded by 300 women working in film, TV and theatre set up the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, in support of individuals going through sexual harassment cases. That same year, actors participated in a red carpet “blackout”, wearing only black to the Golden Globes awards.

Within the years of 2017 – early 2020, including (but not limited to) Kevin Spacey, James Franco, Ed Westwick, R Kelly, Louis C.K, Steven Seagal and Bill Cosby and on home soil, Craig McLachlan were all publicly accused of sexual harassment.

Now, a new wave of #MeToo accusations have surfaced and two of the accused are from well-known and popular 2000’s sitcoms.

On June 17, Television actor Danny Masterson, best known for his role in That ’70s Show, was charged with forcibly raping three women on separate occasions, allegedly occurring between 2001 and 2003.

He was charged with raping a 23-year-old woman in 2001, a 28-year-old woman in early 2003 and a 23-year-old woman in late 2003, and were brought against him after a three-year investigation.

Masterson is currently out on a $3.5 million USD bail and is scheduled for a hearing on September 18. If found guilty, he could spend up to 45 years in prison.

Harvey Weinstein
Getty Images.

On July 16, Entourage star, Kevin Connolly, was accused in an article by The Daily Beast of sexually assaulting a costume designer at a wrap party in 2005.

In the article, Gracie Cox alleged that Connolly assaulted her in a VIP area during a party for Gardner of Eden.

“Kevin strongly supports victims of sexual assault and believes their claims should always be heard,” a statement read from his representation, Martin Singer.

“As someone who has worked in this industry for four decades, he has treated people with nothing but respect and has maintained a stellar reputation. Therefore, he was completely shocked to learn of the allegations made by Gracie Cox from a wrap party in 2005. The incident with Ms Cox was consensual, and he categorically denies any claim that it was assault.”

According to Cox, “There was not really a chance in my mind to object or resist. It just happened really fast. I froze and was in shock.”

Upon leaving the party, Cox told her then-boss, costumer Amy Westcott, who confronted the actor. She confirmed this to The Daily Beast.

In response to Westcott, Connolly denied “that it was anything other than a mutual consensual encounter” and acknowledged the “lack of professionalism”.

If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual or physical violence, please call 1800-RESPECT, a national telephone support line or find more support services HERE.

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