Perhaps one of the most damning aspects of the Harvey Weinstein case was how long the knowing silence endured. That his sexually abusive behaviour was an open secret in Hollywood circles, with people keeping shtum because they enjoyed the company they kept or for fear or reprisals as victims were coerced into silence. Those on the inside feigning ignorance about what was going were spectacularly called out by screenwriter Scott Rosenberg’s diatribe on Facebook, in which he repeatedly claimed: “everybody-fucking-knew”.
The Weinstein case has brought global attention to the widespread abuse of male power and privilege, and gendered power relations exasperated by economic inequalities. The revelations have proven to be a tipping point in bringing women’s voices to the forefront of a campaign against cultures and institutional structures that help normalise the abuse, harassment and subjection of women. Anita Biressi explains in her article that the act of ‘speaking out’ against abuse is often yet another burden for victims, and women who do so are routinely met with scepticism and further sexist treatment. It is an important reminder that we have a collective responsibility to all speak out against injustices like these.
In this issue of Three-D we also focus on media policy. The latest twist in the Fox/Sky merger bid emerged in December as Disney purchased most of the 21st Century Fox assets, leaving Murdoch with a smaller vessel for his Fox News and Fox TV business – which he now hopes to merge with News Corp in 2-3 years time. The Media Reform Coalition, spearheaded by Justin Schlosberg, has done tremendous work to provide sustained pressure against Murdoch’s merger plans, backed up by extensive evidence. The vociferous nature of the response from Fox’s lawyers, Culture Secretary Bradley explicitly referring to MRC/Avaaz evidence in her decision making, demonstrates that policy work from our field can have a tremendous impact. Make sure you read Glenda Cooper’s summary of some recent developments in this issue. We also feature articles on the hugely controversial decision in the US to end ‘net neutrality’ and UNESCO’s proposals for Internet Universality Indicators.
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