As more and more men in power see their careers crumble under the weight of their own degrading behavior and abuse, it’s hard to keep track of all of the ramifications. While the crux of the conversation remains—and should remain—on protecting the victims and remedying the culture of misogyny that has created this mess, the actions of men like Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, and Kevin Spacey, have left another kind of devastation in their wake: The innocent bystanders who worked on their shows no longer have jobs.
As the LA Times reports, revelations of misconduct put a halt on a number of projects. Louis C.K.’s animated TBS show The Cops was indefinitely suspended, which affected more than 75 people. The abrupt end of PBS’s Charlie Rose has put 20 people out of work (though they will be paid through the end of 2017). 200 crew members were affected when Netflix put House of Cards on hiatus in light of Spacey’s behavior (though they are being paid in the mean time). On top of that, 150 employees of The Weinstein Company have also been hung out to dry.
In the piece, David Wachtenheim, an animation director on The Cops, discusses pondering if the rumors about C.K. would impact the show:
Wachtenheim had suspected early on that Louis C.K.’s conduct might become an issue for “The Cops.” He had heard the whispers in the comedy community about Louis C.K.’s behavior and believed the allegations leveled against Weinstein could eventually bring them to light. His hunch proved correct.
“It was pretty devastating,” Wachtenheim said. “Everybody had a job, and then they didn’t.”
It’s a gray area—obviously Wachtenheim didn’t give C.K. the platform, and people need to work—but his awareness of the open secret shows just how much faith those who did give C.K. the platform had that the rumors surrounding him would remain in the shadows.
It goes without saying that the blame for these job losses rests entirely on the men who took their power as license to abuse people. And employees who were affected recognize this. The Times reports that Francis Giglio, an art director working on The Cops, wrote an open letter to C.K. after losing his job, reading in part, “All of the stress and frustration that I find myself in now is nothing compared to the pain and distress you have caused these women.”
The indiscretions of one man shouldn’t mean that so many employees should have to have their livelihoods scrapped so suddenly. At the same time, it makes the fact that so much of the economic system of Hollywood was invested in such disgusting men—and not women producers, comedians, writers, and journalists who could have done great work—that much more painful.