On Wednesday (March 11), movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to jail for 23 years, after being convicted of sexual assault and third-degree rape.
Over 100 women have come forward with accusations against the Hollywood mogul, dating back from 1978. Many of their stories have exceeded the statute of limitations, and in the end, six women testified against him.
And while Mr Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, said that he was experiencing “deep remorse,” over what he had done, he also said that he was confused about the #MeToo movement which was launched against sexual harassment and sexual assault, telling the court before his verdict was handed down, “I think men are confused about all of this. This feeling of thousands of men and women who are losing due process, I’m worried about this country.”
For many of his victims, however, justice has been served. Actress Mira Sorvino, who is one of Mr Weinstein’s accusers, tweeted:
23 years. Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for his crimes of rape and sexual assault. I literally cried tears of amazement, gratitude that the justice system has worked on behalf of all of his victims today.
— Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) March 11, 2020
Time’s Up, a group that advocates for sexual abuse survivors issued a statement after the verdict became public, that read, “First and foremost, we are grateful for the courage and strength of Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Annabella Sciorra, Dawn Dunning, Tarale Wulff, and Lauren Young, who bravely testified in court, and we remain in solidarity with the more than 100 survivors who suffered abuse, harassment, and rape at the hands of Harvey Weinstein.
The trauma of sexual assault and harassment is lifelong — we can only hope that today’s sentence brings all of the survivors of Harvey Weinstein some measure of peace.”
Other actresses rejoiced over that justice had been served.
23 years in prison for Harvey Weinstein. justice is served.
— Jodie Turner-Smith (@MissJodie) March 11, 2020
23yrs!!! Convicted and Sentenced! Today the world shifted that much more for justice! May my dear friend Annabella Sciorra and all these brave women continue to heal and finally find some peace with this victory! #HarveyWeinsteinGuilty https://t.co/QI76zTmdIj
— Rosie Perez (@rosieperezbklyn) March 11, 2020
Another actress, Amber Tamblyn, wrote, “This is only the beginning.”
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) March 11, 2020
But others are saying that there is still a long way to go before social norms that make sexual misconduct possible are changed. In Mr Weinstein’s case, he wasn’t even convicted of all of the charges leveled against him, neither did he receive the maximum allowable sentence for the crimes he was convicted of.
Despite the sheer number of women who told story after story of his sexual misconduct, which included a number of famous actresses, it was still not enough to ensure that Mr Weinstein was given a life sentence in prison.
The UN-Women’s spokesperson on Addressing Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination, Purna Sen, told Al-Jazeera, “I regret that it took so many women to hold one man to account.
This was a case of 90-or-so ‘she said’s to one ‘he said’. Women have had a hell of a journey to go through to be seen as credible as men.”