Pop Culture Giving Free Passes to Celebrities with History of Sexual Assault is Detrimental

It is Time to Stop Allowing Famous People to Get Away with Crimes Simply Because They are Famous


Jackie De Melo, Opinion Managing Editor

A popularized phrase across the music world, “Free Kodak” became popular back in 2016 calling for rapper Kodak Black’s release from jail.
Black is a convicted rapist, yet the music and social media worlds advocated for him to be freed from jail and still freely blast his music, ignoring the fact that he raped a woman.
The phrase “#FreeKodak” first became popularized when Black was convicted of some minor drug felonies and sentenced to 120 days in prison back in September 2016, according to journalist Latifah Muhammad of Vibe Online.
The internet buzzed with #FreeKodak hashtags and despite no mentioning of Black’s sexual assault case yet, in the next few months, it would all surface.
Right after Black was freed for his drug felony, he was transferred to South Carolina as he had a pending sexual assault case.
Black was accused of allegedly raping a woman and inflicting wounds to her body, which was confirmed by a kit, wrote Diamond Alexis of BET online.
#FreeKodak hashtags once again resurfaced on Twitter. As a part of the Twitter community, I was appalled and completely disgusted at the ignorance of users tweeting such a hashtag and demanding for a rapist’s freedom.
Individuals raced to tweet out this hashtag and claim that Black’s allegations were false and all a part of society’s scheme to put another innocent celebrity in prison.
To dismiss this allegation on the premise of “he’s too famous to rape someone, she’s doing it for clout,” as a Twitter user said.
Dismissing a victim’s experience on the premise that they are just doing it for attention or for power only feeds into rape culture as it invalidates the victim’s trauma and attempts to defend the doings of the perpetrator, which is a situation that happens all too often.
Invalidating a person’s experience using phrases or asking questions such as “she was asking for it” or “what was she wearing?” completely deviate from the experience of the individual undergoing the trauma and shows that a woman’s behavior or clothing is implicative of deserving to be assaulted.
It is absurd to immediately focus on mundane things rather than the case at hand.
“”She was asking for it is absolutely the most toxic phrase there is, it is a form of victim blaming, which allows people to make excuses for the crime they committed,” said Alumna Adi Golan (“17).
Making excuses for criminals, especially ones that are celebrities and can attempt to hide behind their fame to erase their doings only show that fame is used as a scapegoat.
Allowing celebrities to hide behind their fame and use it to erase the experience of the victim is wrong. However, all people can work together to combat the culture.