Hollywood Mum On Riley Gaines’ Assault (And More)

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Swimmer Riley Gaines got physically assaulted this week by trans rights activists. They screamed obscenities at her and, later, chased the college athlete into a room where she hid for her personal safety.

Gaines stayed in said room for more than three hours while the protesters demanded money for her safe release.

It’s a horrifying story, one partially captured on video and shared aggressively on social media by both Riley Gaines and her supporters. So far, no one has been arrested but the investigation into the fracas continues.

Gaines’ profile went national in recent months as she began speaking out against trans women competing against biological women in sports.

The University of Kentucky swimming star knows the subject personally.

Gaines lost the NCAA swimming title to trans athlete Lia Thomas, a biological male who now races as a trans woman.

Riley Gaines looking at Lea Thompson on the podium at the 2022 NCAA Swimming Championships. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Minimal Support For Riley Gaines

The mainstream media has mostly ignored the incident, with right-leaning news outlets dominating the coverage. The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) decried the attack.

But where are the Hollywood feminists?

Somehow, the industry is silent on the 12-time NCAA All-American swimmer being assaulted on a college campus.

Hollywood starlets have been vocal on several issues tied to gender. Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence has spoken out on alleged fiscal imbalances.

“It doesn’t matter how much I do. I’m still not going to get paid as much as that guy, because of my vagina?”

Jennifer Lawrence

Other A-listers, like Natalie Portman and Charlize Theron, have similarly weighed in on the issue.

Feminist Hollywood rose up, en masse, following the downfall of predatory producer Harvey Weinstein and the rise of the MeToo movement. Starlets wrote massive checks for the fledgling Time’s Up group to protect women against violent men.

Stars like Amy Schumer raged against future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 for flimsy allegations he attempted to sexually assault a woman as a teenager. Schumer and co. fell silent, though, when Tara Reade alleged former Sen. Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993.

Yet these stars haven’t said much, if anything, on behalf of women trying to protect female sports from trans women athletes.  To do so would risk severe ostracization from their colleagues and, potentially, the loss of lucrative gigs.

It wouldn’t take much courage, though, to speak out on Gaines’ behalf, but that’s yet to happen as of yet.

In their defense, news of the attack may not have reached them if they only consume mainstream media headlines.

A Pattern Developing

We saw a similar pattern regarding former MMA standout Gina Carano. The “Mandalorian” actress was fired by Disney in 2021 for her social media messages, comments which didn’t align with the progressive worldview but were never vicious or dehumanizing.

Nor were they “anti-Semitic,” the accusation Team Disney hurled in dismissing her.

Even Carano’s female “Mandalorian” stars, like Ming-Na Wen, stayed silent rather than support her right to free speech.

The starlets similarly stayed mum after CNN anchor Don Lemon said that women over 40 are no longer “in their prime.” The comments drew bipartisan fury, but Hollywood A-listers ignored them.

A welcome exception? Michelle Yeoh referenced Lemon’s sexist comments during her Oscar speech last month.

 “And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”

Michelle Yeoh

Written by Christian Toto

Christian Toto is an award-winning film critic, journalist and founder of HollywoodInToto.com, the Right Take on Entertainment. He’s the author of “Virtue Bombs: How Hollywood Got Woke and Lost Its Soul” and a lifelong Yankees fan. Toto lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two sons and too many chickens.

Follow Christian on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HollywoodInToto

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