I received an interesting email the other day from the Medium Digest. For those who don’t know, I use to write for the website, Medium and I was subscribed to their top posts newsletter. I normally just scroll through and delete the email. However, one article caught my attention as it had Harry Potter star Tom Felton in the title.
According to this article which is located on the Fearless She Wrote publication, Felton, who is best known for playing Hogwarts school bully, Draco Malfoy was accused of grooming an underage girl. Now, this is the not writer saying he is guilty because he wasn’t and it’s not something he would do.
Before I go on, I do need to stress that this Babes Against Bullshit post contains mentions of sexual assault.
How Did This Whole Thing Start?
Draco Malfoy, for those who aren’t up-to-date on Harry Potter, as a massive following and fans on social media platform TikTok came up with a trend that became known as DracoTok where followers were required to do their best Draco Malfoy impressions. Heck, the hashtag had over four billion views.
Felton, who also uses the platform was humbled by the trend when he found out. He decided to jump in on the fun but little did he realise, for a short amount of time after this, his career would almost be affected by someone else’s sick fantasy.
A fan, who is under 18 thought it would be funny to photoshop messages to make it look like Felton was grooming her. Sexual assault is NOT a laughing matter. This girl then went on the record to say she faked the whole thing. She deleted the messages and the account but not before issuing an apology.
The messages were poorly photoshopped and yet, people were quick to try and cancel Tom. Yes, there is a message out that that we need to believe sexual assault survivors. However, the reason a lot of people don’t come out about their experiences is because of individuals like this teenage girl.
There are people who fake being abuse survivors just to get attention and then real survivors aren’t believed.
Should This Girl Have Been Shamed?
Now, I hate the idea of cancel culture but I do believe in calling people out for their mistakes. I understand that not everyone can be journalists or private investigators, but people were very quick to defend her without knowing all the facts.
It’s very easy to photoshop something, but at times people just don’t do a very good job. This is the case with this girl. Does she deserve to be shamed? This is where things get complicated. I do not condone what she did. She is part of the reason actual abuse survivors aren’t believed.
However, who ever this girl is, she should not be shamed. What she did was disgusting, and this is going impact her life and has copped hate already. Hopefully, this will serve as a wake up for her not to call foul of an innocent person.
She should be told to talk to actual abuse survivors and to those who been accused of assault when they didn’t. This would make her better understand why what she did was wrong.
How This Likely Affected Tom Felton
This situation is not something that would have gone down very well with Felton. In recent years, he has suffered from mental illness. It is upsetting to see such an amazing human be accused of something of he did not do. Something like this should never happen.
The girl who made the false allegations should apologise to Felton for what she accused him of. A public apology simply isn’t enough in my opinion as she shouldn’t have done it to begin with. As I stated before, faking sexual assault is not funny and something as serious lying about be talked about.
Dealing With The Aftermath
Calling someone out for faking something as serious as sexual assault is far from okay. It can have a lasting effect on them as well as the person whom they falsely accused. Yes, what the girl did was bad. However, she does not deserve to be dragged through the mud in such a public way. She needs to be held accountable but not for all the world to see. Does anyone realise how incredibly embarrassing that would be for her?
Let me ask you a question. If you did something this stupid? Would you cry foul and say what you did was a joke and that you don’t deserve hate? If I was in this position I would have no way of justifying what I did and I’d be riddled with guilt for the rest of my life knowing that I almost ruined someone’s career.
I am also not that dumb and this girl needs to understand that what she did was terrible. It doesn’t matter if she said she didn’t expect her lie to blow up the way it did. She almost ruined an innocent person’s career. This is not right!
Also, the people who tried to cancel Tom Felton are no better than the girl that set this whole chain of events in motion. I urge anyone who sees a story like this to know the facts before they decide to nullify someone. In conclusion, there is always two sides to every story.