Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison

The sex offender and former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault by a court in New York on Wednesday. The verdict is considered a milestone in the MeToo debate triggered by the case in 2017. Commentators welcome the sentence, but warn against unserious accusations.

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De Volkskrant (NL) /

System being dismantled swine by swine

At last an end to the male culture of abuse is nigh, Volkskrant columnist Sheila Sitalsing writes in delight:

“This is a splendid victory against a system that was able to thrive for decades and which is slowly but surely being dismantled, brick by brick and swine by swine. A system in which women are toys that can be summoned and dismissed at will, nothing but gentlemen's playthings. ... Pussies on legs that you can grab without asking for permission. And then brag about it with impunity before conquering the White House, or Hollywood, or the world of theatre, or Buckingham Palace, or TV stations, or the boardrooms of the world.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Not all those who are accused are guilty

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung draws attention to the downside of the MeToo movement:

“Accusations were immediately taken at face value and people acted as if it was the suspect who had to prove his innocence. ... Without doubt there have been crimes that never ended up in court because the perpetrators were too powerful or the victims were intimidated. But some have been accused without proper cause. And in a heated environment that alone can mean social death. It would be good if the not yet legally binding conviction of Weinstein calmed things down a little - with the prospect of a working world free of abuse in any form.”

Hospodářské noviny (CZ) /

MeToo is here to stay

Hospodářské noviny stresses the fundamental significance of the Weinstein case:

“What matters about the verdict for the former Hollywood magnate is not the sentence - 23 years in prison - but the fact that a once powerful man was put on trial at all. The victims will probably not feel any satisfaction over the sentence for Weinstein. Traumas resulting from rape and sexual abuse heal - if at all - only slowly. However, the case has brought about a fundamental change. It has made something public that had previously only been discussed in private. That someone is so powerful that he can abuse his position - not only in the film industry, and not just as a man. The case initiated the MeToo movement, which has kept the issue in the public space ever since.”