This week the case of Ciro Guerra, Colombian director, was made public. Should we cancel him? .
The debate began after the accusations against the renowned filmmaker became known. / Photo: Wikimedia - Armineaghayan
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Leer en español: A propósito de Ciro Guerra: ¿Debemos cancelar a las celebridades por sus acusaciones?
This Wednesday, June 24, the feminist magazine Volcánicas published a report written by Catalina Ruiz-Navarro and Matilde de los Milagros in which the testimonies of eight women who denounced the Colombian director Ciro Guerra of sexual harassment and abuse were made public . Seven of these allegations are of sexual harassment, some with the use of force, and another one is of sexual abuse. This has opened the debate on various social networks about whether we should cancel our favorite celebrities. Here our first impressions.
Who is Ciro Guerra?
He is perhaps one of the most important figures in the film industry in Colombia. His filmography consists of six feature films and three shorts. Among his most recognized and applauded works are The Shadow of the Walker, The Wind Travels and The Embrace of the Serpent, which went on to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Many of his films were produced and made in collaboration with his ex-wife, Cristina Gallego. He has represented Colombia in different international film festivals. His last major production known to the public was Summer Birds, an action film that follows the beginnings of drug trafficking. Last year, he released the movie Waiting for the Barbarians, starring Johnny Depp, who is also facing charges, in his case for domestic abuse.
What are the complaints against him?
The complaints consist of several testimonies, each with their respective witnesses, which account for seven occasions in which the film director sexually harassed seven different women and one occasion in which he abused one of them. The report transcribes the testimonies of the victims and their witnesses, makes sections in which it comments and puts into context the patterns that can be repeated in the history of each one, makes a timeline, reflects on the harassment in the audiovisual industry and finally, inserts a very short interview with Guerra, in which he is given the opportunity to answer some clear questions, in which he denies the accusations.
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No hay proporcionalidad entre presuntos actos de abuso de Ciro Guerra y las consecuencias de las denuncias: la destrucción de su vida. Sin esa proporcionalidad solo hay sacrificio. No la mesura de la justicia sino la hybris de la venganza. Lamentaremos este retorno a la barbarie.— Pedro Adrián Zuluaga (@pedroazuluaga) June 25, 2020
What is the debate?
This has opened the debate on social networks about escrache and forms of reporting. Some men, also from the industry, have come out to defend their colleague and have asked for some presumption of innocence. Guerra has come out to say that he denies the allegations and that he will take legal action in this regard. The first thing is to know that the complainants will not make a criminal complaint and that their names are protected in the report for fear of re-victimization and pre-retaliation that, in advance, they supposed the acclaimed director could take. So there will be no presumption of innocence before justice, since these complaints are not criminal, but, as the report says, a way for the complainants to take charge of their history and make it public for the prevention of this problem.
On the other hand, whoever reads the report will realize that the complainants do not invite the cancellation of this industry character, but rather try to prevent others from having the same thing happen to them and focus the mass media on the problem of harassment in the audiovisual industry. Now, everyone can do what they prefer with their consumption to consider it ethical. Some will prefer not to see his films again or to refinance his projects. In no way is it a social mandate now to cancel celebrities who are accused of harassment but it is only natural that we do not want then to consume what they produce . This, finally, does not make the accused a victim, since his life is not being ruined or revenge is being waged against him. Others are being informed of behaviors that may be dangerous to other women. If, already informed, women prefer not to work with him or consume what he produces, it will, of course, be a consequence for their career. The reader will decide.