By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
The #MeToo movement began a little more than two years ago, and some of the most famous and powerful men – like Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and Louis C.K. – have lost their high-profile jobs, or have seen their careers derailed.
Producer Harvey Weinstein is currently fighting charges of sexual assault and recent documentaries have revisited decades-old allegations against singers R. Kelly and the late Michael Jackson.
And while some, like Louis C.K., have made comebacks, Bill Cosby, who sits in prison serving a sentence of up to 10 years because of a previously settled and decades-old allegation, remains the only high-profile person jailed as a result of the movement.
And, according to many legal experts, Cosby’s conviction remains questionable at best, and a set-up at worst.
Now, a new movement is afoot that seeks to reveal that the #MeToo movement – a movement that was started by a black woman – has unfairly targeted black men.
The fledgling #FirstThem movement wants to ensure that those who are alleged to have committed sexual assault or abuse aren’t targeted just because they’re black – something those involved said is a major problem and counts as a serious injustice.
The founders of that movement, which has gained momentum on Twitter and other social media platforms, said they want to ensure that the focus will shine on white men and women who are accused instead of what they see as the lynching of those of color over unfounded allegations.
In one of many tweets, film producer and media personality Tariq Nasheed highlighted what he believes is one of the primary reasons for the #FirstThem movement.
“While the white media is trying to make any Black entertainer the face of sexual abuse, they are putting accused serial abusers like Charlie Sheen on magazine covers,” said Nasheed, a founder of the movement.
Nasheed, who couldn’t immediately be reached for a telephone interview, noted that Sheen has been accused of abusing women and exposing them to HIV.
“There is a wave of corporate sponsored movements that were created under the narrative of addressing sexual misconduct particularly within the entertainment industry. Many organizations behind these movements have racially tailored their agenda and our mission is to counter the racial targeting from these organizations,” Nasheed said in a post.
Nasheed readily acknowledges that sexual misconduct “is wrong on every level.”
“No group should be given a pass for sexual assault on their race,” he said. “So, get involved now and contribute to the #FirstThem movement so we can replace the system of racial privilege with a system of justice.”
Using the hashtag #FirstThem, one Twitter user noted that former Hollywood Producer Gary Goddard stands accused of sexual misconduct by 8 former child actors, yet his case hasn’t had the focus of Cosby or even R. Kelly, who recently was the subject of a scathing documentary about his alleged sexual assault of underage black girls.
In 2017, actor Anthony Edwards alleged that Goddard molested him and raped his best friend for a number of years beginning when they were just 12.
Goddard has denied the allegations.
In the case of R. Kelly and Jackson, Nasheed eagerly defends them, lambasting the media for its repeated coverage of those cases.
Another #FirstThem post noted that actor Rob Lowe “is still being glorified and getting gigs… I think it’s time to introduce him to #FirstThem,” the Twitter user Kobe Denzel wrote.
In 1988, Lowe was involved in a scandal over a videotape of him having sex with two females, one of whom was 16.
Lowe has claimed that he didn’t know that the girl was underage and later he cut a deal in which he agreed to perform 20 hours of community service.
While it’s not only celebrities called out for their alleged misdeeds, #FirstThem has listed a host of icons whose mideeds supporters of the movement believe the media and history have overlooked or forgotten.
Iggy Pop, the late David Bowie, Jimmy Paige, Mick Jagger, Jim Morrison, Jeff Beck, Alice Cooper, and football great Peyton Manning have drawn the attention of #FirstThem.
Singer Courtney Love was also among those mentioned by #FirstThem because she reportedly admitted to performing a sex act on singer/songwriter Ted Nugent when she was just 12.
“When I was a single man, I liked younger women,” Nugent told reporters last year, without directly addressing Love’s claims. “I haven’t had relations with underage women since I was underage,” said Nugent, a Republican supporter who performed at a number of President Donald Trump’s campaign events.
Trump himself has also been accused of sexual abuse by several women.
A recent article in the United Kingdom’s The Guardian, also touched on the allegations of Iggy Pop, Bowie, Paige, Jagger, Beck and Cooper.
The article noted that, in 2001, when the Mötley Crüe biography The Dirt was published, barely an eyebrow was raised at the debauchery described within.
Even one of the darkest tales, in which Nikki Sixx said he “pretty much” raped an intoxicated woman after he had sex with her in a cupboard and then sent Tommy Lee in to do the same, did little to damage Sixx’s reputation.
Dr. Rosemary Lucy Hill, from the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Leeds, told the newspaper that the idea of a groupie is a complex one – citing the example of Pamela Des Barres, who claims she slept with Jagger, Page, Morrison and numerous others, and wrote five books about her experiences – an updated version of the most famous, I’m With the Band, hit stores again last year.
Lori Mattix (sometimes known as Maddox) told The Guardian that she was just 14 when she lost her virginity to Bowie. Her next lover was Jimmy Page, she said.
These #firstthem folks are attacking me like I haven’t spent the greater part of my life in service or Black folks. There is not a bone in my body that hates Black men OR that would intentionally target them for attack. But we have to have a REAL conversation.
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) January 21, 2019
Though she recently acknowledged that the #MeToo movement she founded has appeared to have left Black women behind and that the message has been lost, Tarana Burke responded to the #FirstThem on Twitter to defend her stand.
“These #FirstThem folks are attacking me like I haven’t spent the greater part of my life in service for Black folks,” Burke wrote on Twitter. “There is not a bone in my body that hates Black men or that would intentionally target them for attack,” she said. “But we have to have a real conversation.”
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of BlackPressUSA.com or the National Newspaper Publishers Association.