Rose McGowan has been very vocal in addressing sexual harassment in Hollywood, and specifically, against Harvey Weinstein, whom she says assaulted her in a hotel room in 1997. The two reached a settlement of $100,000, but that hasn't stopped McGowan for speaking out in support of Weinstein's other accusers. Since the news about Weinstein's conduct, McGowan has been naming names, calling out people who knew and said nothing as well as those known to harass, including Ben Affleck.
In one case where social media is used for good, McGowan has repeatedly tweeted about Weinstein's history as a sexual predator. Her Twitter account was suspended for 12 hours after she posted information that violated the site's community standards. Backlash was swift with many boycotting Twitter in response.
One of the many, many problems with sexual harassment is it's not just about unwanted sexual advances, but also about power – how men, especially men in positions of power, feel they can use that power to whatever end they want. In one of the strangest examples of this to date, Weinstein's law firm hired the private intelligence agency Black Cube to collect information, on McGowan and others who had made allegations against Weinstein, to get them to stop speaking out. The story was covered recently by Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker, where he detailed that the information collected by Black Cube covered everything from general information to private, and sexual history. In addition to the collection of information, part of the contract between Weinstein's lawyers and Black Cube was to stop a negative article from being released, and to collect information on an upcoming book. That upcoming book is McGowan's "Brave."
"Brave" is more than a memoir about McGowan's life and experiences growing up. We get to hear McGowan's voice on the matter of sexualization and Hollywood: not just the Weinstein sexual assault allegations, but on the sexualization of young women in the spotlight, the inherent sexism in the industry that spreads from scripts to casting to filming. The book also covers the hijacking of McGowan's identity by both the tabloids and the industry she feels profited from her trauma. "Brave" will be released on Jan. 30 by HarperOne.
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