After the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, it became apparent that culture was shifting and people were no longer going to stay silent about wrongdoings just because a person has a position of power and authority, que the hundreds of rape accusations levied against figures from news executives to prominent actors in the following weeks. The latest among these is Hollywood producer Brett Ratner, now try to ignore the fact this guy looks like a younger Weinstein and lets objectively take a look at the facts.
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A report from the LA Times announced Wednesday a total of no less than six women have come forward to say Ratner either harassed, masturbated or straight up forced himself on them. Ratner is known for directing films like the Rush Hour and X Men: The Last Stand but now his legacy seems to be taking a turn to the dark side.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: @oliviamunn | Twitter</span>
1. Olivia Munn claims that Ratner masturbated in front of her in 2004 and later bragged about how he ejaculated on magazine covers she was featured on. "He walked out … with his belly sticking out, no pants on, shrimp cocktail in one hand and he was furiously masturbating in the other and before I literally could even figure out where to escape or where to look, he ejaculated." Munn said.
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2. Natasha Henstridge says she was forced to perform oral sex on him in the early 1990's when she was just 19. Henstridge described the incident saying, "He strong-armed me in a real way. He physically forced himself on me,” she said. “At some point, I gave in and he did his thing."
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3. Jaime Ray Newman says that Ratner and her were both in a first class Air Canada flight when he switched seats just to sit next to her and proceeded to tell her about all of the sex acts he wanted to do to her, loudly and in great detail. Newman said, "He was graphically describing giving me oral sex and how he was addicted to it."
Hold on, before going any further can we agree that this guy is a creep? In the very least he's a sex addict with a very real problem but let's withhold any talk of criminal charges and give him the benefit of the doubt event though he is essentially accused raping Henstridge… Alright, back to it.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: @KatharineTowne | Twitter</span>
4. Katharine Towne described an encounter with Ratner she still vividly remembers years later when at a party Ratner followed her into the bathroom, "He started to come on to me in a way that was so extreme," she said. "I think it’s pretty aggressive to go in the bathroom with someone you don’t know and close the door," Towne says as she describes how he made unwanted sexual advances on her in the bathroom. Trying to deter him she says, "I don’t even know what you want with me. I’m kind of chubby right now." Ratner replied with, "I like 'em chubby sometimes." Ratner's lawyer countered Towne's claims by saying, "Even if hypothetically this incident occurred exactly as claimed, how is flirting at a party, complimenting a woman on her appearance, and calling her to ask her for a date wrongful conduct?" Oh, right, because it's normal to follow a woman into the bathroom and close the door.
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5. Eri Sasaki was a 21-year-old model and aspiring singer at the time Ratner approached her on set while she wore a skimpy costume for her role that exposed her midriff. She says he ran his index finger down her bare stomach and asked if she wanted to go into a bathroom with him. When she declined his offer he replied with, "Don't you want to be famous?"
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6. Last but not least, a sixth women came forward with accusations of sexual misconduct but their identity was not specifically mentioned in the LA Times Report.
Are we really surprised that people in positions of power and fame are trying to use that power to get laid? I don't think this is a surprise to anyone and we've been conditioned to downplay the seriousness of these sex acts when they are forced by a person with authority over the other party when it reality these forced acts are not okay, they are downright wrong, illegal and thoroughly creepy.
Even if criminal charges don't stick against figures like Weinstein, Halpern and now Ratner, in the very least these cases should be a signal that society is waking up to this type of behavoir and it is not okay. With the public spotlight ready to shine on any hint of misbehavior perhaps it will help break this disturbing trend of forced sexual encounters in exchange for parts or just being able to keep your job.
At this time there have been no criminal charges filed against Ratner unlike his counterpart Harvey Weinstein who the NYPD announced have two open rape investigations against him.
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