Rose McGowan changed America. In a country of 330 million people, a select few will be remembered for having had a profound effect on the culture we live in and how America treats various injustices. Rose is already affectionately remembered by her fans in her various Hollywood roles, whether as the witch Paige Matthews in Charmed, Tatum Riley in Wes Craven’s slasher classic Scream or the villainous and vapid Courtney Shayne in Jawbreaker.
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But Rose’s reality will be remembered long after her performances become relics of Hollywood’s past. Rose has been and continues to fight the Hollywood establishment that fostered her own trauma.
In 2017, McGowan broke her silence regarding her rape and helped land a kill shot on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The details of Rose’s experience have been chronicled extensively. Her traumatic experience allegedly occurred in 1997 at the Sundance Film Festival in Weinstein’s suite, a situation which Rose describes in her memoir Brave as a nightmare with “The Pig Monster.” After 20 years of relative silence, her rejection of Hollywood brewing in the meantime, Rose sat down with ABC’s nightline. The interview, occurring mere months after the bombshell reporting of Ronan Farrow and just days after the 2018 Golden Globes, found McGowan targeting not only her assailant, but the machine in Hollywood that supported him. When ABC noted the people Rose was fighting against were powerful, she memorably replied, “So am I.” She continues this fight against Hollywood today, telling the Globe “Hollywood is finished. No one in the outside world glorifies or likes it.”
More than ninety other women joined Rose in accusing Weinstein. Due to the statute of limitations, Weinstein cannot be held criminally liable for what happened with McGowan but she has received near unanimous support in the court of public opinion, save some Hollywood production elites.
McGowan became one of the most crucial people in changing the way society looks at workplace sexual harassment and assault, which ultimately led to a slew of other powerful men being held accountable for their actions. However, the most profound thing Rose was able to accomplish was the apocalypse she unleashed on Hollywood and the American obsession that glorifies it. While commonly misunderstood as some “fiery doomsday”, the word apocalypse originates with the meaning of “Lifting the veil”, which is exactly what McGowan accomplished. As she told the Globe, “When the Oscars flopped this year, I congratulated myself on a job well done.” As this column has pointed out dozens of times, Hollywood is full of sycophant hypocrites. People are realizing it and ratings of insufferable self-congratulatory ego fests like the awards shows reflect that reality.
Juxtaposing these hypocrites in Hollywood, who attach their names to various causes in order to promote themselves, with a true activist like Rose McGowan paints a stark contrast. McGowan channeled her trauma into genuine activism. This activism came at great personal cost which real activism typically does. She took out her bullhorn and refuses to shut up no matter the cost. “I’m a deprogrammer. That’s what I do. I’m live hacking their system. Using their airwaves.”
Rose is unafraid to call out her peers and label things for exactly what they are. She has lambasted her Charmed co-star Alyssa Milano and others such as Oprah Winfrey and Meryl Streep. After the 75th Golden Globe Awards in 2018, Rose’s comments to Nightline perfectly encapsulated her opinion of Hollywood’s faux activism: “I feel like people are dancing on our graves. People in fancy dresses. Posing. Living it up on the red carpet. And the black stupid cloths the stupid men wore. It’s a lie. And I knew they would trot the activists out there for PR.”
Not only this, but Rose targets the organizations these actorvists support as well, namely Times Up! This organization sponsored the 75th Golden Globes and has recently imploded amid the revelation that Times Up Chairwoman Robert Kaplan had advised Andrew Cuomo as accusers lined up to accuse the disgraced former New York governor, even reviewing a draft of an op-ed that disparaged one of the accusers.
How’s your day Tina? How’s your day Alyssa? pic.twitter.com/Ksc4p4wurN
— Rose✨McGowan (@rosemcgowan) August 5, 2021
Rose took to Insta and Twitter to blast the hypocrisy: “Remember when Hollywood actresses and paid-off activists wore stupid black dresses at the Oscars? That was sponsored by Time’s Up who were meant to help abuse victims. I told the world they are a lie 3+ years ago. Wake up. Hard truths are inconvenient & uncomfortable. Alyssa, it’s lizard people like you, SDK Knickerbocker, Gov Cuomo, the Pres, Tina Chen (sic) who hurt people. Your time is up. Exit stage left.”
Rose also distinguishes herself from the rest of Hollywood by reaching across political lines. She has twice in the past year given interviews with Fox News, something her former peers simply do not do. Her first appearance was this April with Tammy Bruce. While media outlets nitpicked her comments for rage bait, the message Rose delivered was clear – “Your personal freedom does come at the price of you realizing how you’re being controlled and where its coming from. Figure out in your belief system what is organic and what has been implanted by Hollywood and the media. We have to examine what we believe and why.”
Rose’s interview a few months later with Tucker Carlson further justifies the existence of this column. “I’ve made it my life’s mission to tell all you out there what so many of you know deep down: That fame and Hollywood and the media machine are rotten to the core. They do hurt and they do damage.”
Fast forward to this past month with the California recall election of Gavin Newsom. In an interview with classical liberal host Dave Rubin, McGowan dropped a bombshell about Jennifer Newsom, Gavin’s wife.
The former actress shared that three months before Rose’s Weinstein story broke back in 2017, the Ms. Newsom sought Rose out in order to squash her story. She asked Rose, “What would it take to make you happy?”
The Globe asked the outspoken performer why she did not come forward sooner, instead waiting until the final week of the recall election. She replied “I didn’t hold the Jennifer story. I totally forgot about her actually until I was on Dave’s show and was only vaguely aware of the recall. That’s how little that blonde basic evil lady occupied my mind.” Jennifer Newsom does not occupy the media’s mind much either, as almost every mainstream establishment media outlet has declined to cover the story of Rose’s experience, which is documented.
She reminded the Globe to remember the context of her own situation at the time during 2017 when Jennifer Newsom reached out. “Mossad spies terrorizing me hired by Boies Schiller [Weinstein’s lawyer], that’s what she was a part of. That’s who she is. And if people are dumb enough to think Gavin Newsom wasn’t in on it then they definitely deserve him to be their Governor and moral leader.” And given the results of the recall, it appears California is that dumb. To Rose’s credit, once she recalled the actions of the First Lady of California, she did everything she could to speak out against Newsom and urged people to vote yes on the recall, endorsing Larry Elder.
Much more could be written about the former actress turned author, director, businesswoman, entrepreneur, Time’s Person of the Year and staunch human rights activist. While the other stars of Hollywood will continue their hypocrisy by offering political tropes at the MET Gala, Rose has taken the path of genuine activism. She is a thoughtful, strong and brave woman who spent years considering her options before speaking out. As she told the Globe in closing “It’s been my plan all along.”