Rotten Apples Will Tell You if Anyone Accused of Sexual Misconduct Worked on Your Favorite Movies
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you're likely aware that Hollywood's open dirty secrets are starting to become open festering sores. Stars both male and female, as well as former child actors, producers, and relatives of famous directors have spoken out against a culture of repugnant sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault in the film industry. (For the purposes of this article, I won't go into the political side of this issue, which we've seen play out in Alabama and on Capitol Hill over the past few months.)
Many people call into both our local and national shows and say they couldn't care less about Hollywood or the entertainment industry, but then proceed to offer passionate opinions about the housecleaning going on. Like it or not, this cultural awakening must resonate with you in some way. After all, movies are an enormous part of American culture. They're one of the things we do best.
Personally, I love movies, and though I've waited with bated breath for modern Hollywood to collapse under the weight of endless sequels, prequels, franchise tent poles, origin stories, and lousy Star Wars fan fiction, I do cringe and feel a sting in my heart when I read about a filmmaker I've admired being accused of unspeakable behavior, or a performer I love watching in action describing having been the victim.
A new database called Rotten Apples has been developed which allows users to type the name of a movie and see a list of anyone involved with the project who has been accused or convicted of sexual misconduct.
To test it, I initially went with a film I knew would raise red flags after the fall of Harvey Weinstein - 'Pulp Fiction'. Seeing his name and that of his brother wasn't a shocker, but I was surprised to see John Travolta's name listed first, and to learn that he'd been accused of sexual battery my a male masseur. (Red Apples provides links to stories about the accusations against those listed in search results.)
I played around with the site for a bit, just popping in any movie titles that came to mind. Fortunately, the majority of films I searched came back with this message: "This movie has no known affiliation to anyone with allegations of sexual misconduct against them. If you believe this is an error, please let us know by clicking here and we’ll fix it as soon as possible." Now, that doesn't necessarily mean no accused pervs were involved. It just means the site's creators didn't know of any, and the message contains a link that allows you to submit a person's name and a link to any credible news stories about accusations or convictions.
After a few minutes, I decided to enter the title of my all-time favorite movie, 'Amadeus'. I expected it to receive a clean bill of health.
Jefferey Jones, who many would recognize from 'Beetlejuice' and 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off', was arrested in 2002 for possession of child pornography and accused of soliciting a teenage boy to pose nude for photographs. Jones eventually pleaded no contest and was required to register as a sex offender. His performance as Austrian Emperor Joseph II is one of my favorite things about 'Amadeus', so that one hit pretty hard.
I'd like to note that Rotten Apples' "About" page makes it clear that the site's search results are not meant to condemn these movies, nor are the creators trying to play judge, jury or executioner.
"The goal of this site is to further drive awareness of just how pervasive sexual misconduct in film and television is and to help make ethical media consumption easier.
By no means is this site meant to serve as a condemnation of an entire project.
This database is not perfect, nor are the results meant to be taken as fact. Each link is sourced from an existing article and is not a reflection of our own opinions."
If you're curious about your favorite movies or TV shows, give the Rotten Apples search engine a try at therottenappl.es.