As more and more survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse step forward to speak out about their experiences, questions linger about what the true consequences will be for the men in power that are alleged to have engaged in this behavior. Would these men be welcomed back with open arms after their stories fade from the news cycle or are ties truly cut?
In an interview with the BBC, Bryan Cranston expressed that he believed redemption was possible for disgraced luminaries of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein’s ilk, but there are caveats to the Breaking Bad actor’s viewpoint.
“It would take time,” Cranston told the British broadcasting stalwart. “It would take a society to forgive them. And it would take tremendous contrition on their part. And a knowingness that they have a deeply-rooted, psychological, emotional problem that takes years to mend. If they were to show us that they put the work in and are truly sorry and making amends — and not defending their actions, but asking for forgiveness, then maybe down the road, there is room for that. Maybe so. Then it would be up to us to determine, case by case, whether or not this person deserves a second chance.”
Cranston says he doesn’t think the best approach to the situation is to unequivocally excommunicate. He suggests there’s hope for redemption for these men if society is willing to allow it.
“I think in the face of it, we should let that open,” he said. “We shouldn’t close it off and say, ‘To hell with him, rot, and go away from us for the rest of your life.’ Let’s not do that. Let’s be bigger than that. Let’s leave it open for the few who can make it through that gauntlet of trouble and who have reclaimed their life and their dignity and their respect for others. Maybe it’s possible.”
Cranston’s comments attracted instant criticism online for the scenario he presented and his attitude on the subject. This tweet from Kathy Griffin should give an idea of the response the recent Cranston soundbites received on Twitter.
In Monday’s interview, Cranston stressed that the issue of sexual predators is one that exists in all walks of life and needs to be placed under the magnifying glass.
“Sexual predatory behavior is not a Hollywood problem,” stated Cranston. “It’s a societal problem and we’re seeing that everywhere. What’s so great (is) that it’s being exposed. Young men and women should not have to tolerate being mistreated. We’re an enlightened society. Enough already.”