Hollywood has been getting more than its fair share of publicity lately, and for all the wrong reasons. A growing number of people – male and female – have been coming out lately using “#metoo” to publicly discuss incidents involving powerful executives and actors in show business. The result has been a series of ruined careers and damaged reputations.
The ball seemed to start rolling when Bill Cosby was accused by dozens of women of spiking their drinks and then taking advantage of their incapacitated state of mind to engage in promiscuous activities. Then, a video showing presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking condescendingly about women spurred accusations from women that he had treated them in similar fashion during past encounters.
When film producer Harvey Weinstein was outed by The New York Times for a series of sexual misconduct accusations, it opened the door for a number of people to be named in similar accusations. Among the fallen stars have been actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis C.K.
Public relations efforts probably won’t do much to help in most of the cases, but Louis C.K. may have the best chance of emerging from the accusations. He made a public statement admitting he had done what he was accused of, and showed remorse for his actions. Regardless, upcoming projects of his have been cancelled and it appears he is going to find negative feedback in the immediate future.
Many of the others are going to likely find it next to impossible to continue making a living as entertainers or producers in the future. There have just been too many accusations and too much public outrage for them to be able to hide from the consequences.
This particular issue is one that is always going to be an issue of interest for those of us in public relations, because image building is such a major part of what we do. However, in this particular case, the best PR may be to just live in the shadows and let time take its toll on their careers. But it will be interesting to see how it all plays out for each of the accused.