And if former fans or viewers want to divest themselves from their work, it can present an even greater challenge — until now.
A new searchable database, Rotten Apples — a riff on the name of popular film review site Rotten Tomatoes — allows users to see if anyone accused of sexual misconduct plays a part (on-screen or off) in their favorite films and television shows.
Simply type in the name of your favorite show or film; if it includes a writer, executive producer, director, or a cast member accused of sexual misconduct, the site will return a full list, including a link to a reputable news source detailing their known or alleged misdeeds.
First, the site doesn't take shows with multiple seasons into account. So Sen. Al Franken doesn't come up when users type in "Saturday Night Live," but he does come up when users select the film, "Stuart Saves His Family."
And yes, he's a musician, but for some reason, R. Kelly doesn't come up when you search his film, "Trapped in the Closet," which is terribly alarming as the allegations against him rank as some of the most heinous and detailed to date.
However, if visitors find any errors or omissions, they can submit them to the site for review. As more people use the page and additional accusers come forward, the strength and accuracy of the site will hopefully continue to grow.
Survivors of sexual assault or abuse may have anxiety or distress seeing a known or alleged perpetrator appear in an otherwise innocuous film or television show. Feeling triggered is not a cry for attention or a meme-worthy joke, it's a very real moment of panic or fear. Any site that prevents that type of anguish for people who've experienced trauma is not only useful, but potentially lifesaving.
Additionally, this site clearly illuminates just how pervasive this problem really is.
Sexual misconduct in Hollywood is more than just a few "rotten apples," it's a poison vine that's been twisting around the industry for years.
But finally, some of these Hollywood honchos are facing consequences for their deplorable behavior and actions. A tool like this puts fans in control, as to whether they want to support (with their eyes or their dollars) the potentially criminal artists and makers responsible for some of their favorite shows and films.
For too long, people in power got a free pass when it came to sexual misconduct. But thankfully, that's changing, and even once pristine apples are showing their spots.