For The Men Who Want Our Forgiveness.

By Olivia Neal, Content and Style Editor 

This is a letter to all of the men who have apologized for abhorrent behavior recently.

image from Indie Wire











This is for Kevin and for Louis and for Harvey (I know you know the ones).

This is also for Dr. Luke, Johnny Depp, Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, R Kelly, George H.W. Bush, Casey Affleck, Sean Penn, Mike Tyson, Jesse Lacey. I’m looking at all of y’all too. I haven’t forgotten about you. There are so many who are not on this list, so many that if I listed them all they would take up the whole letter and I wouldn’t get to say what I need to say. You know who you are, and judgment is coming for you.

So, you’re trying to apologize. You want everyone to know that you’re deeply sad and sorry and that you didn’t mean to hurt some girl or twenty and you didn’t know better and mama didn’t raise you right and nobody told you not to stick your dick in whatever couldn’t run away and on and on and on. Right.

First of all, this is not about your reputation. It’s not about your ego or your fans (who are so, so hurt by your actions) or your publicist or your agent or your whole goddamn team of people whose job it is to make this all better for you. This is about your victims.

Judgment is coming for you.

I want you to soak in that word — you are a person who has victims. You and John Wayne Gacy are in the same category. You may not have worn anybody’s skin around or hacked somebody with a machete, but for the rest of your life you will have to live with knowing that you are a victimizer.

It seems like nobody has spoken very frankly with you about this. Maybe they have and you’ve been systematically ignoring the people telling you to stop (likely), but either way I’m going to level with you. You’re all terrible people. There’s no going back on that, or making right with God, or working hard for forgiveness. Everyone in your life should stop caring about your feelings and your well-being because you didn’t give your victims the same courtesy. But I’m still going to take costly time out of my day to explain to you why what you did was so egregious.

I’m still going to take costly time out of my day to explain to you why what you did was so egregious.

Kevin, this is not about being gay. No person, regardless of gender, deserves to be subjected to the kind of damage that you’ve inflicted. Children are not in control in sexual situations, ever. Not only that but coming out in the same digital breath as your non-apology for assaulting a young boy makes everyone who has ever believed that gay men are disgusting predators feel like they’re justified. Men like you are the reason all the other girls were so afraid to change in front of me in the middle school locker room.

So I’m asking, as a member of the community you decided to throw under the bus, could you please, just for one second, think about the consequences of your actions? Not only for that young boy you scarred, but for the millions of queer Americans who wanted to badly to root for somebody like them, only to realize that you were their worst nightmare?

Louis, you didn’t actually apologize, you just tried to downplay the severity of your actions. In a statement that should have been about your personal accountability, you mentioned four different times how famous and popular you are — how everyone loves you — as if that’s the reason you sexually assaulted and harassed people.

It’s not a matter of respect or affection, Louis, it’s a matter of power. You had the ability to influence your victim’s careers, and it’s infinitely gross that you used that kind of say to push your penis onto other people. Not one of your victims wanted to see your penis, so the fact that you wanted to show it off is just a sick sexual fantasy, the backstage version of the subway masturbator. Get off the train, Louis.

Men like you are the reason all the other girls were so afraid to change in front of me in the middle school locker room.

Harvey, you put your hands on bright, young actors who were just trying to make their way in a cruel and unforgiving business. You did what men in positions of power often do; you corrupted it and used it to manipulate others. The worst thing about you is that you believe that this kind of behavior is only now becoming unacceptable — isn’t that what you said? That in the 60s this was just the culture? Rape and harassment have only ever been okay to powerful perverts like you, Harvey.

Sex addiction is not an excuse, either. Plenty of men have found healthy, legal, and ethical outlets for their excessive sexual urges. So glad that you’ve put together a team of shrinks to try and figure out what went wrong in your brain to make you think you could do this, but it’s not mental illness to blame, it’s only you and your male privilege. None of these proposed strategies for moving forward will help the women you’ve wounded. And finally, you said at the end of your statement that you won’t disappoint your mother. You already have, buddy. You’ve disappointed us all.

We can’t forgive you.

All of you seem to think that you owe the public an apology and that your fans need to hear from you. And while that may be true, considering that you’ve made people across the country feel unsafe in their own skin knowing men like you are out there, we can’t forgive you. Not a single person in this whole country is allowed to forgive you on someone else’s behalf. The only people who can forgive you are the people you’ve hurt. It’s on the rest of us to follow their lead. And I don’t expect them to. I don’t think they need to forgive any of you. So I wouldn’t hold your breath.