The greatest trick Hollywood ever pulled was convincing the world it had dealt with its demons...
It seems that since Harvey Weinstein was exposed as a sexual predator with accusations of sexual harassment, assault and rape levelled against him, we haven't had a day go by without the exposure of more Hollywood men giving an indication just how big and far-reaching this problem truly is.
From the likes of James Corden making light of the allegations to the revelations that James Toback, Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven, Mark Halperin and now Brett Ratner have all been involved in abusive behaviour (or worse). Oh, and now Dustin Hoffman, accused as this article was being written and whose statement included the awful words "It is not reflective of who I am" - I hate to break it to you Dustin, but if you do it, it is very much reflective of who you are.
Almost every apology, statement or response has been reaction to being caught and not an apology for their actions. Spacey even took the opportunity to confirm that he has had gay relationships and now choses to live as a gay man - unbelievably conflating sexual advances on a fourteen year-old with his sexual orientation.
Then there is the seedy underbelly of the film blogging community, centered around Alamo Drafthouse, in the US - Devin Faraci recently resurfaced after a short period of exile from the community and recently Ain't It Cool News founder Harry Knowles was revealed to be involved in abusive behaviour too.
It's safe to say that we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg and it's likely, if not certain, that even more established names are going to become embroiled in what appears to be a rapidly collapsing house of cards.
One thing that has been common to all of the revelations is the number of people that crawl out of the woodwork claiming they knew something was up or knew of specific accusations but never did anything to put a stop to this behaviour. And then there are the scores of others who have quickly distanced themselves - especially in the light of the Harry Knowle's exposé - claiming they had no idea that these things had been happening.
It often seems that these things are new, but abuse, and the acceptance of abuse, is something that has been in the core of the Hollywood machine since the start. Convicted rapists and molesters - Victor Salva and Roman Polanski being examples - are still in work and making films despite their crimes and they continue to attract top acting talent and plaudits from critics; especially in the case of Polanski. And even in the early days of Hollywood there are stories of major actors having underage partners or being violent to women.
Hollywood and the larger film juggernaut have a habit of forgetting past demeanours after a while. Those who carry out these heinous crimes eventually find themselves back in work and on the screen after lying low. It's a common theme in all entertainment industries where the likes of Chris Brown can beat their partner and then be back at the top of the charts within weeks or months. The same happened with Johnny Depp - a few weeks of bad press after he physically assaulted Amber Heard - and then headlining the next Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film.
In a world where people with real talent can't find work, why do we keep giving second chances to those who let us down in the worst ways possible? People who should be role models shouldn't be allowed to reclaim their pedestals once they fall from grace.
The fact is, this terrible behaviour has been tolerated and accepted for years, it's been overlooked and whole groups of people have been involved in covering up and paying off accusers rather than tackling the rotten core. The perpetrators are only a part of a bigger, wider issue. One that shouldn't be ignored. For every sexual predator that is exposed in Hollywood, there are countless others who knew and helped to hide their activities. There are numerous women and men who felt they couldn't come forward because the monster that protected these people was the industry itself. They'd find themselves out of work or sidelined for daring to speak out about the abuses they'd suffered.
It seems the floodgates have opened - we can only hope that the brave women who have stepped up and exposed these people will find their actions lead to more feeling they have the power and strength to stand up and say enough is enough. No-one should be so powerful that they can use their status or money to protect themselves if they behave like this. People such as Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Anthony Rapp, Natasha Henstridge, Olivia Munn and all of the others who have been assaulted, attacked, raped and abused are now making a difference and making it easier for others to come forward in confidence that they'll be listened to.