The good news about this story is it shows that the issue of sexual harassment has been around for at least 30 years, and most likely even before that. The reason it is good news is not because women were being sexually harassed, but that the #metoo-ers can’t claim they “discovered” the problem and are actively doing something about it. In the case of “The Wonder Years” the sexual harassment victim was a behind-the-scenes woman who made the claim against the stars of the show.
One of the interesting things about this claim made 30 years ago is that the woman actually filed a lawsuit and her voice was heard — by the courts at least. As the story goes, Monique Long, a 31-year-old costume designer filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in 1993 against Fred Savage (who was 16 at the time) and 20 year old Jason Hervey. Filing a lawsuit against a pubescent 16 year old seems over the top since teenagers are hormonal creatures by nature. But maybe the #metoo-ers have missed an opportunity Monique and others discovered 3 decades ago — go after the male of the species no matter what their age.
The outcome of the allegations resulted in an oft heard phrase: “The lawsuit was dropped after an undisclosed out-of-court settlement.” That creates a dual scenario, depending on whose side you’re on. If you are on Monique’s side you will claim a victory because her voice was heard and the accused didn’t get away with anything. On the flip side, you can make the case that if Monique was really searching for justice instead of a payoff, she would have fought to the bitter end.
So this case has significant differences than the #metoo-ers of today. The woman took the proper steps and her voice was heard at the time the incident(s) took place. No 3 decade waiting time. Another is that she was an off-camera woman, so wasn’t after attention or trying to get her brand noticed. Finally, according to one of the stars of the show, Alley Mills, the allegations were largely responsible for “The Wonder Years” being cancelled. That says that one woman who sticks to her guns can bring down an entire show — even if she doesn’t have a huge social media following.
Mills says the accusations were ridiculous, and given that Long was targeting a 16 year old there seems to be more than a little support for that position. All the actors claimed the allegations were untrue. So even in an environment where both men and women stood against the accuser, the woman’s voice was heard and she had “her day in court.”
It’s likely that despite all the attention the #metoo movement is getting in the media, history will show it to be a huge failure. Why? Because after all is said and done, the question “Why didn’t the accusers speak up much earlier?” will not be satisfactorily answered. Monique Long did and if it weren’t for the gag order by the court, her accusations would have been publicly available long ago. Maybe there are other court documents from the current ilk of #metoo-ers that remain sealed and prevent us from knowing the real truth behind sexual harassment of the past. But none of those people seem to be speaking up, and it’s reasonable to conclude that if there are any they will be few and far between.
The #metoo movement is all about accusations and little about action — or evidence. The unfortunate reality is it is working, having men everywhere back on their heels, resigning from office or opting for an early retirement. The truth at the core of the issue is that women were hoping to get a firm foothold in the powerbase when Hillary Clinton was elected, but that plan went awry. The only commodity women had to exploit men with — sex — has been used up and no longer appeals to any man in power with common sense. Turning the tables by crying “They had sex with me!” is actually quite a good approach because it uses sex in reverse.