BuzzFeed: ‘Flirting’ and ‘Weird Lunch Dates’ Are Harassment

In the aftermath of Harvey Weinstein, the sharks are swimming around other actors and producers in the media. But some people are willing to go too far to make a scandal happen.

BuzzFeed’s News Reporter Doree Shafrir stated on October 12 that an e-mail with an anonymous Google spreadsheet labelled “shitty media men” with a list of allegations against them was in her possession. In her words, “the allegations on the spreadsheet range from “flirting” and “weird lunch dates” to accusations of rape, assault, stalking, harassment, and physical violence.” The most vulnerable in the industry? Those who are “young, or a woman of color, or unconnected.” (World to End Tomorrow; Women, Minorities Hardest Hit)

For the record, “weird lunch dates” and “flirting” are not sexual harassment. They are awkward human interactions. Boundaries have to be drawn, but a lunch date isn’t quite the same as rape and assault. Even Shafrir admitted “things do get complicated when you start lumping all of this behavior together in a big anonymous spreadsheet of unsubstantiated allegations against dozens of named men.”

In addition, specifically saying that “women of color” were the most vulnerable in harassment or assault cases is excluding men like Terry Crews, who just admitted to being sexually harassed, or women like Cara Delevigne, who accused Weinstein of trying to force her into a threesome.

While Shafrir has a point, that the “media has long protected its own,” she can’t help but play the race card. If she had merely said, “young and unconnected” were the most vulnerable, that would have sufficed.

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