Americans support repercussions for prominent men accused of sexual harassment

November 15, 2017, 9:15 PM GMT+0

Many even think the punishments for Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. should have been harsher

Amid the growing allegations of sexual harassment made against major figures in Hollywood, politics and government, the American public is taking a hard line. Not only have they turned on three entertainment figures accused of harassment, but few in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll have any qualms about the punishments that the industry unilaterally has imposed on Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K.

In the poll, the public was given a list of actions taken against each of these figures and asked if they felt the punishments were excessive, appropriate, or should have been even tougher. Just over one in ten said the punishments were excessive for Spacey and Louis C.K., both of whom lost jobs and had movies they had completed altered (in the case of Spacey) or kept from public release (in the case of Louis C.K.). Only 7% felt that was the case for Weinstein, who was fired from his company and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Two-thirds of the public say the punishments were either appropriate or not harsh enough. For Weinstein, more than three in four said that.

Those 65 and older are the most likely to believe the punishments were not harsh enough. For example, in Weinstein’s case, 51% of men 65 and older (and 42% of women in that age group) said his punishment wasn’t harsh enough.

Men are slightly more likely than women to think the punishments were excessive. For example, 16% of men think Louis C.K.’s punishment was excessive, compared with just 10% of women.

Women are also more likely than men to report personal experiences with sexual harassment. Those women who report being harassed are 10 points more likely than women who have not to think that Weinstein deserves even harsher punishments than he has received. They are six points more likely to say that about Spacey; nine points more likely to say that about Louis C.K.

Whatever Americans thought about these men before that accusations, they now have overwhelmingly unfavorable opinions of them.

For more, read complete results here.

Photo: Getty

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