Peter Bart: Indicted By Media But Not By Law, Can Scandal-Scarred Men Return?

Peter Bart: Indicted By Media But Not By Law, Can Scandal-Scarred Men Return?
The issue of crime and punishment shouldn’t be too toxic for rational discussion, but I find this is becoming the case. And this is wrong, because decision time is looming – albeit a decision no one is eager to make.

Over the course of the past year the careers of many prominent figures have collapsed amidst the newly defined standards of the #MeToo era. But studio chiefs, filmmakers and others now confront this inevitable question: Does the punishment fit the crime? Repugnant behavior should be forcefully rebuked. On the other hand, are we in danger of re-living mistakes of the Hollywood Blacklist era when lives and careers were permanently destroyed by what proved, in some cases, to be frivolous and self-serving allegations?

Revelations of the present moment have put the spotlight on pervasive behavior that in some cases defies the imagination, but now difficult judgments must be made. Disney and
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