Trivializing Rape is Not OK

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by Melissa Silverstein
January 12, 2012 9:41 AM
5 Comments
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Here we go again.  Another Hollywood star -- or in this case former star, 78-year-old Kim Novak took out a full page ad in Variety equating the use of the score for Vertigo in The Artist to rape.

Here's what she said- the first line is all in caps: I WANT TO REPORT A RAPE.

The second paragraph is also in caps: I FEEL AS IF MY BODY... OR, AT LEAST MY BODY OF WORK - HAS BEEN VIOLATED BY THE MOVIE THE ARTIST.

Full text of ad here.

To repeat, she equated the use of music from a decades old movie to rape.  In case you need a reminder about what rape is here is the definition (from dictionary.com): "the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse.  any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person."

Her idiot manager Sue Cameron! made things worse by saying to Fox 411: “There are all kinds of rape including the rape of one’s soul. All rapes are violent acts and all victims should be supported.”

That statement is seriously one of the most stupid things I have heard in a long, long time and I write about movies and TV so I read stupid things all day long. 

Interestingly, the FBI just updated their definition of rape this week after 85 years and I just want to let both Sue Cameron and Kim Novak know that they did not include the rape of the soul in the new definition.

Stop trivializing rape.  You should know better.

Kim Novak's Rep Defends Actress' Use of Term 'Rape' in Variety Ad (Fox 411)

Hitchcock star slams French film for music 'rape' (AFP)

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5 Comments

  • Gnat72 | January 24, 2012 12:18 PMReply

    I'm a big believer that language is key to putting most things in context (combating the actions speak louder than words, to some degree). I just want to point out that language is always evolving (even when cultures try actively to minimize change). The OED's first definition of rape is as follows: The act of taking anything by force; violent seizure (of goods), robbery. The second definition is: The act of carrying away a person, esp. a woman, by force. I like a good outcry, but this one seems somewhat misplaced.

  • Perry | January 21, 2012 11:04 PMReply

    Rape in Hollywood, real or celluloid, is apparently just a plot point. And for the insensitive Ms. Novak, a PR move.

  • Rena | January 20, 2012 12:14 PMReply

    Amen. Shameful.

  • The Questioner | January 16, 2012 3:03 AMReply

    With the Polanski apologists and these ludicrous comments from Novak and her manager, it would be easy to assume that Hollywood is a peaceful, blissfully safe Utopia far removed from the reality of sexual violence. But we know that ain't true.

    The fact that sexual harassment and assault---including rape and child molestation---are endemic at all levels of the entertainment industry makes dismissive comments like Novak's and Johnny Depp's that much more infuriating. If Novak or Depp really wanted to educate themselves about the reality of being a sexual assault survivor, they could start with some of their own industry peers. But then again, Hollywood has never been in the business of examining itself, has it?

  • Allison | January 12, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    First Johnny Depp, now Kim Novak. I am not so surprised anymore that the film industry has its Polanski apologists, they think so little of rape.

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