Corrupt Companies Cover Up

Jade+Shen+%E2%80%9820+encourages+involvement+in+activism+and+intersectionality+to+her+friends%2C+family%2C+and+comembers+within+Girls+Who+Code.

Eshika Talukder

Jade Shen ‘20 encourages involvement in activism and intersectionality to her friends, family, and comembers within Girls Who Code.

From producers Kevin Spacey to Harvey Weinstein, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh to former U.S. Representative Trent Franks to our very own President, the accusations of sexual misconduct towards dozens of influential people have been exposed to the public. As we’ve seen through these cases, most victims and allegations have been silenced, delegitimized, or, at the very least, subjected to ridicule from every corner of their lives. Through these cases we have developed an understanding of how power, fame, and money have contributed to the ability to shove such allegations under the carpet so that their careers remain safe. “People shouldn’t have positions of power if they decide to misuse this power and attack people, and having a voice is important,” said Jade Shen ’20.

This pattern is not only observed within the behavior of politicians and celebrities, unfortunately. Major companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook have histories of silencing victims and covering up cases within their own establishments because of the privileges that their perpetrators possess.

The “Father of the Android” Andy Rubin, for example, had been accused of sexual assault by a woman with whom he was a part of an extramarital relationship with, as confirmed by two company executives. Official investigations have concealed the accusations as credible and yet, the company still handed him a $90 million exit package as he resigned. Rubin is only one of three executives that Google had protected.

Roy Price, the president of Amazon’s media division, had also been publicly accused of sexual harassment. He had also resigned, received an exit package, and his victim received nothing but forced silence. At Apple, dozens of employees have reported sexual harassment in the workplace to HR representatives and even to CEO Tim Cook, and similarly, they have been ignored. Clearly, there is a pattern of perpetrators of sexual misconduct using their positions of power and the many privileges that come with them to escape the punishment they deserve.

“It is because of the fact that cases like these are covered up that people become too scared to report their harassers or rapists. As more people speak up, more will come out. It takes away the voices of the people,” says Jade Shen ’20.

Students at Bronx Science mostly agree on the importance of giving victims a voice. Nicholas Stefanidis  ’20, for example, spoke on the importance of discussing the prevalence of such issues. “It has to do with people’s privacy on a universal scale. Many women in the world are subjects to sexual harassment and many of them go unreported,” Stefanidis said.  

Many students believe that exposure on and discussions about the reality of this problem are important to understand why it is so common and incredibly problematic. “[Companies] want more people to use their services, and they would rather sacrifice the light of a living person than of a leading person in their company for a good reputation,” said Shen. To the effect of covering up sexual harassment cases, she said, “It is because of the fact that cases like these are covered up that people become too scared to report their harassers or rapists. As more people speak up, more will come out. It takes away the voices of the people.”

At Bronx Science, students are the main factors in contributing towards a safe environment in which this kind of corrupt pattern is diminished. “[Companies] should take more drastic actions to set examples so people don’t abuse their powers like this again, and if a stricter punishment is enforced, then the rate of this misconduct will decrease dramatically and cause other people to not to do it,” said Tajuar Bhuiyan ’20, reinforcing the only resolution to such an issue.

Eshika Talukder
Nicholas Stefanidis ’20 argues, “It has to do with people’s privacy on a universal scale. Many women in the world are subjects to sexual harassment and many of them go unreported.”

It’s important to keep in mind that these issues aren’t just prevalent in workplaces that have such an impact as Google and Amazon, but they are commonplace within work environments and at home, across the country. Similarly, it is vital to support victims and make it so that the pervasiveness of these issues are lessened everywhere. “Cases especially like these should be talked about, and the perpetrators need to be punished to set an example. It’s a chain, and it’s important to let the victims know that we believe them and that we support them,” Shen said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email