I feel broken. Every day, new allegations are coming out about sexual assault cases. A little while back, the horror community was in a buzz about Victor Salva and his latest film, Jeepers Creepers 3. If this was one you missed, Salva was convicted in ’88 for molesting his lead actor who was a 12-year-old boy and for possessing child porn, severed 15 months, then got back to movie making. From the side of the internet that I’m on, the primary discussion was about whether or not we can separate the art from the artist. I’ll be honest, I didn’t care so much for Jeepers Creepers. I didn’t hate it, but I never thought it was something to write home about. It was an easy decision for me. The artist and the art cannot be separated! Give him the boot and brand his forehead with his sins. Today made me consider why this was even a topic.
My cousin shot me a text and asked if I heard the news about Brand New. Being that they’ve been in my TOP 3 favorite bands for the past 9 years, I immediately told him to tell me everything. He did, and my heart sank. Not for Jesse Lacey and Brand New, but for the victims of this manipulative creep and his supportive bandmates who were constantly playing “cover-up”. Brand New’s front man, Jesse Lacey was recently called out by a former band tech posting on social media “So while we are on the topic of outing famous and semi-famous creeps, anyone want to speak up about Jesse Lacey from Brand New?” Immediately after hearing this, I took to Google and YouTube to find out the extent of the “misconduct” that all the headlines stated.
Substream Magazine spoke with Nicole Garey, one of the first to come out about what happened between her and Jesse.
Garey told Substream “He solicited nudes from me starting when I was 15 and he was 24.” and continued to go on about how she was manipulated from the age of 15 up till around 22. She had tried to tell her story before what Woody Allen called a “witch hunt”. She lost friends and relationships trying to get her story out.
The truth of this matter is that we are dealing with pedophiles who are using their positions of power to find new victims. When we let it slide, or “separate the art from the artist”, we’re delivering children to them on a silver platter in exchange for their art. I know that we’re all human. We all screw up every day and have to deal with the consequences of our actions, but some sins have much larger consequences than others. These attacks will stick with the people and children who have been victimized by these creeps, yet most of the time, they’re the ones who’s validity is questioned. They’re the ones who lose credibility and lose friends and relationships. So many cases have been reported where the victim is treated like the victimizer.
We’re at a place in time where we are finally taking the stories of the abused seriously. Whistles are being blown every damn day now because the abused finally have a platform to be heard. I genuinely believe that this is a great road to be on. This is also a perfect time to teach our kids and loved ones what sexual abuse and manipulation look like. Now if only there was a punishment to fit the crime…
Child abuse of any sort is not something to be tolerated or supported. In the case of Victor Salva and Jesse Lacey, their art is tied directly to their name. There is no way to separate the art from the artist. To attempt to do so would be to give approval to them and their actions so that they can continue to provide us with their art. Though I understand how the thought can come up, and how difficult it can be to detach yourself from something that you love, I believe the separation is worth it, even simply as a statement of disapproval.
Despite the culture of tolerance we live in, child abuse and sexual assault cannot be tolerated. Men and Women need to be held accountable for their actions. We need to stand against the predators and provide safe support for the hurting.
I was going to include Jesse Lacey’s statement in this post, but I want this to be less about him and Victor and more about Nicole Garey and Nathan Forrest. Nicole and Nathan are the ones who suffered and will probably continue to suffer do the traumas they faced. Steps can always be taken by people to heal from their experiences, but more than that, we as people need to be there to provide the support and comfort that they need to keep moving. The pendulum is approaching it’s highest, and we as a people group are throwing tolerance to the wind and taking down the attackers who are hurting us. My only fear is that when it swings back, the victims will once again be demonized to a more extreme extent. We can’t let this happen.
To Nicole and Nathan, thank you so much for having the courage to speak out about the abuse you’ve faced from Jesse and Victor. I’m sorry. I hope that you guys will continue to be praised for what you’ve done and that the people who say that you’re responsible for what’s happened to you are all punched in the throats.
If you’ve been abused, speak up. Your mic is up and you’re not alone. Let your bravery lend courage to the fearful who don’t know how to get it out.
If you know somebody who’s been abused, be there for them. Keep on providing support and love that they need to keep moving.
You can read Jesse Lacey’s statement on Facebook: Brand New