By JUSTIN RIMPI
One of the greatest things about the justice system in this country is that it is founded on the premise of the individual accused of a crime being deemed innocent until proven guilty.
This is great, because it puts the onus on the justice system to prove an individual is guilty of committing a particular crime. In many other countries, the justice system works in a way which is completely opposite than it does in the U.S., which would be guilty until proven innocent. This is not to say that the American justice system is perfect.
Many individuals have been unjustly convicted of crimes which they did not commit during the 240-year history of the U.S. Since innocent until proven guilty is such an important framework of this nation, that means individuals and society in general cannot pick and choose when this standard is applied. It must be applied to every single legal case that takes place in courts of law or the court of public opinion. In some situations, the court of public opinion can be much more damning than an actual court of law.
This is exactly what has been happening in the entertainment industry over the last couple of months for a collection of celebrities.
Many male celebrities in this industry have been accused of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment without an admission of guilt from the accused party or a court proceeding rendering a final decision.
I sympathize with all of the women afflicted by the monstrous behavior of all of the men that would ever do this to them. However, my plight for the impacted does not change my view on this topic.
Things like this are not supposed to happen in the U.S. when the legal threshold has always been innocent until proven guilty. These men are experiencing a tremendous injustice because they should still be considered innocent of doing all of these things.
It does not make any sense that this is the culture in which the citizens of this nation now find themselves in. It truly is a slippery slope and is setting the stage for decades of a dangerous new normal. The problem in this particular scenario is that individuals are conflating the likeness of two very dissimilar entities.
Just because huge stars in the entertainment industry like Louis C.K., Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Spacey admitted in one way or another to behaving very inappropriately does not mean that all of the other accused men are guilty of these exact same things, or similar things.
With all of the events that have transpired in the past few months, Americans have become much more aware of how pervasive of an issue sexual harassment is in the country. This has raised awareness and that will be a great thing with remnants lasting many decades into the future, which is especially true in the entertainment sector because there seems to be a disproportionate amount of harassment happening in that particular segment.
But in a climate like this, Americans have begun to believe any and every allegation that is reported by the news against those in the entertainment realm. Just because an allegation is being leveled does not mean that those accusations are true and the individuals accused deserve to lose their career over unsubstantiated claims.
People should hold off on condemning these stars in the court of public opinion until all of the facts come out.
The only way that this can be resolved is for criminal proceedings to commence regarding many of these accusations. If these stars do admit to doing these things, or if they are found guilty in a court of law, they would deservedly be put in jail for a very long time due to their highly illegal and immoral actions. But up until that point, these individuals should not be unfairly stripped of the careers and crafts that they have spent many decades perfecting.