As someone who has been a devout supporter of the #MeToo movement, this is a conflicting blog to write for multiple reasons. First of all, actress and filmmaker Asia Argento has really been at the forefront of this movement, being one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
However, now, we have learned that last year Asia paid off actor Jimmy Bennett, a young actor who played her child in her 2004 film The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, after he accused her of sexual assault.
Jimmy claims that in 2013, when he was 17 (so underage), Argento, who was 37, gave him a significant amount of alcohol in her hotel room, then proceeded to kiss him, perform oral sex on him, and then the two had intercourse. Jimmy alleged that the incident caused him emotional distress, and Argento quietly agreed to pay him $380,000.
There is SO MUCH to unpack here, because it is VERY conflicting.
First, yes, Asia is one of the main faces for the celebrity Me Too movement, however, I do not believe her actions diminish that movement, nor do her actions diminish what Harvey Weinstein did. I believe Harvey took advantage of a young Asia, and then, she unfortunately went on to allegedly take advantage of another young actor. Cycles of abuse like this are extremely common. In fact, people who have experienced sexual abuse are more likely to commit it themselves. The whole thing is very cyclical. Does this defend what she did? Oh fuck no, but it perhaps takes away the element of surprise.
I think there is also the fact here that many people seem to think that an almost legal young man having a sexual experience with a beautiful older shouldn’t classify as assault. I think this lends to a huge double standard. If Asia had been a 37-year-old actor who took a 17-year-old actress–who had played his small CHILD in a film 9 years prior–got her drunk, and then proceeded to have sex with her, there would be no question whatsoever that this was an abuse of power and a form of sexual assault. 100%.
Just because the accused is a woman, and a woman who has been open about her own sexual assault, doesn’t mean that we don’t believe Jimmy Bennett. In fact, if you want to stand by the Me Too movement, then you HAVE to support Jimmy Bennett and condemn Asia Argento. However, condemning Argento for her actions with Bennett does not mean we don’t support her in her truth against Harvey Weinstein.
Women can be abusers. Women who have been abused can be abusers. Me Too isn’t about the victims of abuse being perfect people, it’s about HEARING and BELIEVING the abused when the abuse is brought to our attention.
I am incredibly disappointed in Asia Argento, but I still support #MeToo, because no one person is a movement.
I figure I just posted two foolish ass blogs about bullshit, I should be permitted my one woke blog of the week.