I'm all for the punishment of those found guilty of any crime that falls under the "sexual misconduct" umbrella but I can't help but wonder if — with the help of media, social and otherwise — the well-intentioned #metoo campaign has turned us all into judges, juries and (s)executioners.

That phrase, innocent until proven guilty seems to have gone out the window in our fight for social justice.

It began with Harvey Weinstein but, since then, barely a day has gone by without new allegations being levelled at some celebrity or other ... allegations that many seem happy to accept as the gospel truth, in spite of vigorous denials and a lack of actual proof.

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These, as yet, unproven accusations not only compromise their rights to a fair trial and unbiased jury, they have also cost the accused their current and future revenue streams, reputations and potentially, their family and friends.

Take James Franco, for example, hastily airbrushed out of a Vanity Fair cover following misconduct allegations after his recent Golden Globe award. In their bid to distance themselves and their reputation from such a scandal, the magazine has, maybe innocently, contributed to the belief that he is automatically guilty.

It's Newton's third law again.

What are the odds that just days after his public award five different women come forward at the exact same time to the exact same newspaper (cos that's your first port of call to report a crime)?

Coincidence or orchestrated witchhunt? I'm sure the ever-so-experienced media of all kinds will be the judge.

The innocent — and, mark my words, there will be some — will be scarred for life. We all know that mud sticks.

They are creating even more victims in an extremely public way that vows and declares to protect and stand up for the oppressed. Now, that's what you call irony.

I'm sure investigations are ongoing but, as yet, not one person has appeared in a court of law to face charges.


Global connectivity has turned many of us into voyeurs, social stalkers and right-fighters — quick to judge in the name of a cause without taking the time to wait for conclusive evidence.

It paints a sad and rather pitiful picture of us as human beings ... almost eager to see only the negative in every situation that presents itself.

The latest headlines featuring Jennifer Lawrence highlight my argument.

The publicity shoot for her latest flick, Red Sparrow, garnishing more bad press than good as judgmental viewers jumped to the wrong conclusion that the starkly contrasting wardrobe choices of Lawrence and her male co-stars was based on sexual gender and could only be viewed as female objectification.

The all-too-quick finger-pointers were clearly oblivious to the contractual obligations she was under to showcase the Versace gown donated in a mutually negotiated deal. Not to mention the lush winter coat and other heating devices that were almost certainly available, unseen — stage left.

Have you seen this actress on talk shows? Despite her denial of the "outrageous" tag, she's a force to be reckoned with. A very confident — some may say too confident — woman who loves the limelight. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Flanked by her male co-stars, kitted out in their winter woollies, accusers swiftly presumed them guilty of being complicit in forcing her to showcase such an inappropriate dress for the chilly weather conditions.

Only a minority seeing it as a victory for women — the fact that J.Law had the strength and fortitude to tough it out in the midst of a harsh British winter while her burly male counterparts were probably wearing long johns and thermals.

Is this a sign of how cynical and jaded we've become? When we actively feel the need to pursue a negative angle and dream up some narrative that serves our current cause.

There are some wrongs that can never be righted — false and unsubstantiated allegations are among them.

We need to hear all the facts before we pass judgement, assuming we have the right to judge at all.

*Kate Stewart is an unemployed, reluctant mother of three, currently trying to negotiate a deal with Versace — feedback to: investik8@gmail.com