Back in 2018, actress and musician Evan Rachel Wood testified before a House judiciary committee in an effort to bring forth change for abuse and assault victims and have the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act become implemented across the United States.
During her testimony, Wood spoke about the movements of the time, saying,
“This past year and the massive movements such as Me Too and Time’s Up have been extremely empowering and validating for survivors, but also incredibly painful. While no one had to tell me that rape was such a worldwide epidemic, to see the flood of stories so similar to my own was both freeing and soul-crushing.”
She would continue to bring up her personal experiences, expressing that,
“My experience with domestic violence was this. Toxic mental, physical, and sexual abuse, which started slow, but escalated over time, including threats against my life, severe gaslighting and brainwashing, waking up to the man that claimed to love me raping what he believed to be my unconscious body, and the worst part, sick rituals of binding me up by my hands and feet to be mentally and physically tortured until my abuser felt I had ‘proven my love for them’.”
Wood opened up about how her spirit felt broken, her body was bruised, and how she would just feel “numb” for long periods of time at the hands of her abuser. Through all of the details that Wood went into, she never said the name of her abuser before the court. However, given her celebrity status thus her public dating history, people had ideas of whom she was alluding to.
About three years later, February 1, 2021, she directly named Brian Warner, better known as Marilyn Manson, as her abuser via a post on her Instagram.
Since Wood’s social media post, the number of women coming forward with similar experiences with Manson and men who have either played or worked with Manson and can corroborate the accusations being made about Manson has hit double-digits.
On February 2nd, just one day later after Manson was publicly named, guitarist Wes Borland, who played with Manson for less than a year before leaving to play with Limp Bizkit, broke from his interview on the Twitch channel Space Zebra to say that, “Marilyn Manson… I was in the band for nine months. He’s not a great guy. Every single thing that people have said about him is fucking true. So relax about the allegations towards the women… like when people say [bad things about] these women that are coming after him right now… fuck off, they are speaking the truth.”
Through social media, fans had been reaching out to burlesque dancer/model Dita Von Teese out of concern, given that she was in a relationship with Manson for seven years and married for one. On her Instagram, Von Teese told the public that, “Please know that the details made public do not match my personal experience during our 7 years together as a couple. Had they, I would have not married him in December 2005. I left 12 months later due to infidelity and drug abuse….Abuse of any kind has no place in any relationship. I urge those of you have incurred abuse to take steps to heal and the strength to fully realise yourself.”
While numerous people have taken to social media in support of Wood and the other victims, needless to say, fans of Manson have typed out their responses in the forms of victim blaming and blaming “cancel culture” for the entire ordeal. One fan wrote, “I am curious as to why none of this came out during the #metoo frenzy of 2017”.
Was I a fan of Manson’s music? Sure. I enjoy metal of the industrial kind and was “mOBSCENE” blasted through my headphones on more than one occassion? Yeah. Will it ever again? Nope.
Maybe me not being a huge Manson fan leads to that being the best example of forgoing nostalgia factors in the face of abuse, but allow me to put this in another light.
You might have seen the clickbait articles surrounding the movie Jeepers Creepers and how it’s “based on the terrifying true story” of a murder in Michigan through various websites.
While that may be true and it is, indeed, terrifying, the past actions of the director Victor Salva are much, much worse.
The two Jeepers Creepers movies were released in 2001 and 2003- a little over a decade after Salva was convicted of child molestation and rape. Salva had written, produced, and directed other movies over this time period but I bring up the Jeepers Creepers franchise because it’s probably the most well-known.
There were protests in 1995 for his movie, Powder, which was complete with signs outside of the theater urging moviegoers to “Support the Victim, not the Victimizer.”
Over fifteen years since the first movie was released, Salva began to set his sights on releasing a third Jeepers Creepers movie. The poster would appear in “most-anticipated horror” movie lists and would quickly face backlash by those who would not let the public forget about the man behind the movie, as they should.
In March of 2017, an online petition was started in an attempt to get the movie canned. The online petition read: “Jeepers Creepers 3 is currently in production. The director and creator of this franchise, Victor Salva, used his position to rape a 12 year old boy in 1988 during the filming of the movie Clownhouse. He was convicted and served a measly 15 months in prison. As the three largest movie theater chains in the US, I urge you to not show this movie at your theaters. The profits from Jeepers Creepers 3 line the pockets of a pedophile. Monsters belong on the screen, not behind the camera. I also urge other members of the horror movie community to take a stance. Spread the word and don’t watch this film!”
Naming the monster the “Creeper” feels a bit on-the-nose now, doesn’t it?
Jeepers Creepers 3 still made its way to theaters, despite delays due to petitions and threat of protests, and then to home video release. I had seen the first two Jeepers Creepers movies and, yes, they’re scary and, yes, the monster looks creepy as hell. But, the moment I learned about the history of the director, I got a sour taste in my mouth and had no desire to seek out the third movie or ever watch the first two again.
If you know me outside of this, you know how much of my thoughts and time revolve around horror movies. Classics, modern, slashers, zombies, ghosts, whatever the type that has spawned a vast collection of shirts, figures, and even tattoos.
And it was very easy for me to not support Silva because of his vile actions.