I want to praise Jeremy Piven. That’s a risky thing to do, I know. Piven is one of Those Men. One of those big entertainment figures who has fingers pointed at him. He has joined Harvey Weinstein, James Toback and many others in facing accusations that he abused his power to sexually abuse women.
Yet Piven has also issued a principled statement that should give pause to all those taking pleasure in the #MeToo movement’s instant-destruction of men’s careers.
After describing the accusations against him as “absolutely false,” Piven laments the fact that “allegations are being printed as facts” and “lives are being put in jeopardy without a hearing, due process or evidence.” He wonders what happened to “the benefit of the doubt.” To “tear each other down and destroy careers based on mere allegations is not productive at all,” he says.
He’s right. In defending himself, Piven is also defending one of the core principles of an advanced society: the presumption of innocence.