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The Weinstein Effect as a Tipping Point

The article linked below is a conversation between NPR host Noel King and NPR writers Mary Schmich, Elizabeth Blair and Alexandra Schwartz about the recent revelations surrounding sexual assault by powerful men not necessarily in Hollywood, but across industries. “The Weinstein Effect”, as the writers have dubbed the phenomenon, refers to the growing list of women coming forth with their stories of sexual harassment and assault by powerful men after Harvey Weinstein was exposed earlier this year. Allegations against Weinstein, an American film producer and former top film executive, were brought to light through an expose done by the New York Times detailing decades of allegations of sexual misconduct by several women. Since The Times’s expose, however, several women have come forth with allegations surrounding other men as well.


Similar to the tipping point in cascade models we discussed in class, the NPR writers engaging in this conversation argue that the Weinstein scandal was a tipping point in the cascade that occurred after. Although there were several factors that contributed to the increase in women coming forth with their stories of sexual harassment/assault – President Trump and the Access Hollywood tape is one of the factors mentioned – the Weinstein scandal was the tipping point for the trend that occurred after. As we covered in class, a tipping point refers to the point in a situation at which a seemingly minor development instigates a cascade of behavior. In this case, the Weinstein scandal was the tipping point for many of the movements that followed – the Me Too Movement, the spike in reports of harassments and assaults by women in Hollywood, the accusations against Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Roy Price, Charlie Rose. An interesting and relevant application of tipping points, the Weinstein Effect refers to the cascade of women coming forth with their stories of powerful men engaging in sexual assault and/or harassment with the Weinstein scandal being the tipping point for the cascade itself.




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