In the year since the #MeToo movement began in earnest, nearly every industry has been affected. Men working in media, politics, and business—particularly at the highest levels—have been accused and frequently ousted from their positions.
According to a New York Times analysis, at least 200 men have been dismissed or demoted following allegations of sexual misconduct. The actions of these 200 men have affected as many as 920 individuals; some of the men in question now face criminal charges.
The allegations have also had an effect on the way industries do business: in May, the Senate passed a new bill addressing Congress’s sexual harassment policy, and Wall Street has implemented a ‘Weinstein clause.’ Even this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners, Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad, were awarded the prestigious prize for their work fighting sexual violence.
But in what is perhaps a sign of a changing tide, close to half of the disgraced men’s replacements are women. The Times puts the figure at 53 out of 122 men who were replaced, or 43%. One-third of these women work in news media, one-fourth in government, and one-fifth in the arts.
Such replacements include Sen. Tina Smith, who replaced Sen. Al Franken in Minnesota; Robin Wright who will play the lead in the final season of House of Cards following Kevin Spacey’s ouster; and Christianne Amanpour, whose program “Amanpour & Company” has replaced Charlie Rose’s eponymous show on PBS that ran for more than 25 years.
Before the allegations of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein were revealed last year, the Times reports, under 30 “high-profile people” were covered by the media “for resigning or being fired after public accusation of sexual misconduct.”
Joan Williams, a law professor, told the Times that hiring men is now seen as riskier than women for the first time. “We’ve never seen something like this before,” she said. “Women have always been seen as risky, because they might do something like have a baby. But men are now being seen as more risky hires.”