|Are #MeToo stories about famous perpetrators or unknown victims?|
In the most recent case, after three months of consideration, the latest publication decided not to publish because not enough alleged victims had gone on the record, or they had put some conditions on their participation that were designed to protect them from the retaliation that they would clearly be at risk of. While I did not argue directly with this decision, I shared some thoughts with the editor I had been working with, and I am sharing them here with readers of this blog. I hope in some way, at some point, they will help to convince editors considering running #MeToo stories that this is not celebrity journalism, and that the victims are the central characters in these sad and often devastating dramas.
I will have more to say about these issues both on this blog and in other articles that I am now preparing and discussing with other editors.
Note: I have made a few small additions to the original note which I have indicated with [brackets]
Afterthought: This particular story involved dozens of sources, but there were two sexual assault victims in particular who were willing to take great risks to themselves to go public and explain their experiences with the sexual predator the story was about. They showed great courage and continued to be committed to telling their stories for many months, but that was not good enough for the second publication that killed this story. The first publication killed it for fear of being sued; the second for fear of being criticized. What about the victims?
Update: A large number of colleagues in biological anthropology know who this story is about. If anyone feels they have a need to know, they can contact me privately and discuss it.