Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer Get Fired the Same Month
Sexual misconduct has turned out to be a bigger suite of conspiracy stories than Russiagate in 2017. One of the big differences is that Russiagate - the theory that Russians interfered with the 2016 election - is based on "unnamed sources," whereas elite sexual abuse stories have generally been confirmed by various named sources of victims coming forward.
The Fall of 2017 has marked the fall of several media careers related to complaints involving sex. It had first appeared that film producer Harvey Weinstein would be in the headlines for months due to multiple sexual complaints about him until a string of other media sex scandals began to compete for headlines. Kevin Spacey lost a lucrative movie role when he was kicked off the already-filmed TriStar production of All the Money In the World. In November Charlie Rose was fired by CBS for sexual misconduct then Matt Lauer of NBC's Today was terminated for the same reason.
In late November the LAPD confirmed that it was investigating 28 open cases involving complaints about Hollywood figures. The string of scandals has affected the media beyond Hollywood, as the NBC morning show is based in New York. The issue has crossed over into the political arena as well, with complaints surfacing about Senator Al Franken, Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore and ex-Kentucky House of Representatives Speaker Jeff Hoover.
Bill O'Reilly was terminated from Fox News earlier in the year after a series of sexual complaints. Other big names associated with sexual allegations reported in the media this year have included former president George Herbert Walker Bush, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Affleck, R. Kelly, Louis C.K., Steven Seagall, former NBC analyst Mark Halperin, Star Trek actor George Takei and E! News correspondent Ken Baker.
It appears the sex bust of 2017 is a culmination of years in the making. The problem of sexual harassment certainly isn't limited to limelight industries. But the fact this problem is finally being brought out into the open is an indicator that the era of macho perv sexism in the workplace is finally coming to an end. The idea that sex is what determines careers and that whistleblowers are blackballed for speaking up leaves a dark shadow over show biz, but this media exposure may be what it takes to correct the problem.