Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Study says some viewers are quick to forgive the men of #MeToo

Illustration for article titled Study says some viewers are quick to forgive the men of #MeTooem/em
Photo: Tim P. Whitby (Getty Images for Sony Pictures)

Harvey Weinstein, the man whose alleged misdeeds helped inspire the #MeToo movement, was arrested and formally charged with rape on Friday, but some of the other men who have recently been accused of sexual misconduct seem to be faring a little better than Weinstein—at least in terms of public opinion. That’s according to a survey conducted by Morning Consult, which polled 2,202 U.S. adults about whether or not the sexual misconduct allegations against 20 men in the entertainment industry have impacted their viewing habits. Interestingly, the survey participants all seem surprisingly willing to forgive the accused men, save for a pair of notable outliers.

Going off of Morning Consult’s handy graph, only the allegations against Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. affected the survey responders’ viewing habits, while the responders were largely unconcerned about James Franco, Aziz Ansari, Casey Affleck, Jeffrey Tambor, T.J. Miller, and a handful of others. Survey responders who identified themselves as women were more likely to say that the allegations did affect their viewing habits, while men said the opposite (which seems somewhat predictable, unfortunately). The results also skew slightly in favor of people who are already well-liked, suggesting that audiences are more likely to forget about misconduct allegations against, say, Sylvester Stallone if they already like Sylvester Stallone movies.

Speaking of movies, responders who said they frequently go to the theater are much more likely to allow allegations to impact what they see, while TV watchers are not. The implication there is that people who consume a lot of media—which TV allows—are more likely to forget about the allegations, while people who go to the movies—which requires more work than turning on the TV—are more likely to consider allegations before choosing what to see. Morning Consult’s experts suggest that this means celebrities could just wait out #MeToo until they get forgiven like Mel Gibson.


That seems like a pessimistic take on the movement’s long-lasting impact, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept this as a definitive prediction for the future.

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