Sexual assault allegations live on Twitter

Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

Photo credit: Briana Mcdaniel

In a time when one can easily go to their social media and say anything for the world to see, we must look at these posts and think about their legitimacy.

Recent sexual assault allegations have been made against James Franco on Twitter in the wake of his choice to wear a Time’s Up pin to the Golden Globes.

Such allegations should not be taken seriously (unless lawyers are involved) and should not invalidate this movement as a “witch hunt.”

Time’s Up was started after a group of 700,000 female farm workers in the U.S wrote a letter to the Hollywood women who had come out with sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The letter outlines how they were saddened when many actresses came out against their abusers, who turned out to be powerful men in the entertainment industry.

These women went on to write that they were not surprised about how many women came forward, stating that they too are continuously assaulted and face the same fear everyday.

They went on to explain that almost none of them came out against their abusers for fear of losing the ability to feed their families or fear of being blacklisted. The letter ended by letting these prominent women know that, despite their different environments, they are not alone and the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas stood in solidarity with all of them.

After the letter was published, actresses, lawyers and CEOs came together and formed an initiative and legal defense fund aimed to support women dealing with sexual harassment across various industries, Times Up.

People showed their solidarity at the Golden Globes by wearing all black.

“This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment,” said actress Eva Longoria.

Men also wore Time’s Up pins in order to show their support.

However, this movement quickly took a turn when actor James Franco was accused of sexual assault on Twitter by actress and director Violet Paley.

The tweet accused Franco of sexual assault and misconduct and calling him out for interactions with a minor. This quickly started trending and Paley has since received both backlash and support for this.

Allegations like this made on Twitter takes the legitimacy away from a campaign like Time’s Up.

People have been calling this a witch hunt since the ‘Me Too’ hashtag and to talk about such serious allegations on Twitter takes away from everything the campaigns are trying to do.

In the open letter women wrote about the Time’s Up movement, they made it very clear that this fund was meant to support women outside of Hollywood, the women that are unable to go to their social media platforms, make some tweets, then immediately start trending and getting responses.

This movement was started because of women who work in the shadows and provide nourishment for this nation but cannot call out their accusers on Twitter for fear of losing their only source of income.

I am not saying Paley is lying or she is not truly a victim, I am in no place to be able to make that judgement. But I can say that the way she is going about these things is taking legitimacy away from this movement that could have some great outcomes.

Nicte Hernandez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.