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I'm the one who blew up the Erez Driggs affair, and the truth is that I also hurt him - Walla! culture

2021-02-18T22:55:48.497Z

I feel sorry for Erez Driggs, even if it hurt many women, perhaps precisely because I was the one who threw the burning match and lit the fire around it. But all this pain does not justify the toxic treatment that Driggs has given to many women - and what is gratifying is that we are witnessing another stage in cleaning the stables in the entertainment industry.



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I'm the one who blew up the Erez Driggs affair, and the truth is that it also hurts me

I feel sorry for Erez Driggs, even if it hurt many women, perhaps precisely because I was the one who threw the burning match and lit the fire around it.

But all this pain does not justify the toxic treatment that Driggs has given to many women - and what is gratifying is that we are witnessing another stage in cleaning the stables in the entertainment industry.

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  • Erez Driggs

  • Rehearsals - Series

Ofir Sagarsky

Friday, 19 February 2021, 00:03

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Excerpt from the "Rehearsals" series of Here 11, starring Erez Driggs, Yevgenia Dudina and Gila Almagor as Minister of Culture (here 11)

It hurts me about Erez Driggs.

It hurts me first of all for the women who were harmed by it (less for myself, that's how it is), and then - it also hurts me for a talented creator and an outstanding director who "dug himself the pit", as one interviewee put it in an investigation published in "Politically Reading" Following the affair I blew myself up on Facebook pages.

To people who complain, "How easy it is today to drop a successful person," I answer firmly.

At heart, I kind of agree.



About two weeks ago, when I published the post that started it all, I was able to identify with the catalogers.

Inside me, perhaps within every woman - feminist as she may be - is a patriarchal man who has put an end to feminism.

This man speaks out of you when other feminists post an opinion that seems petty or annoying to you, and teases you when you initiate a bold move.

"Come on, you snooze," "How many fasts do you need," and a lot of "just silly already."



The same post was written with the utmost care, in my opinion: I referred to what Driggs himself said in an interview with "7 Nights," in which he claimed that he would send sleazy and pathetic messages to women.

I repeated these things, adding that whoever received such messages from him, were not only pathetic - but also offensive.

At the time, I did not think that the same correspondence with Driggs, in which he offered me to have sex with him several times despite my refusals, met the definition of "sexual harassment."

Courtesy of the man inside me, I thought to some extent that I might have ordered it.

I therefore refrained from mentioning the problematic concept in the post, and kept a subtle and vague wording.

More on Walla!

NEWS

Here 11 is considering producing a second season of "Rehearsals" without Erez Driggs: "It Depends on Noa Koller"

To the full article

Something bit into my composure.

Driggs (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Despite all the caution, the man inside me muttered, "Well, really, Ophir? Can't you shut up once?".

Other men who doubted my motives in the responses joined the appellant's voice and turned it up to maximum volume.

But Ophir, who had already been through something in her life and learned to stand up for herself, replied to everyone, "No. I could not shut up."

And in retrospect, I really could not.



That post and the post that followed I wrote after a long long cooking, which started sometime with the rise of "rehearsals".

Until that moment, for me, Driggs was a valued but rather unknown theater creator, in the manner of theater creators.

As long as he left his work on stage, I could put the incident behind me and move on, without attributing further thought to it.

After the rise of the series, something began to bite into my serenity.

I felt less and less comfortable with the character of Driggs, but out of love for the series, I preferred to make some reservations in favor of the pleasure.



As the episodes unfolded, and the character of Ofer (Itai Turgeman) was enveloped in pity and patience, so my patience ran out.

I started sharing my mixed feelings with friends while watching.

This is how I discovered that in the world of theater, wherever the foot is not placed, victims of Driggs are found.

One received endless messages from him, another also won a check-pick without consent and ten more sales from someone she knows.

More on Walla!

NEWS

"Serial Harassment": Allegations of sexual harassment of actor and playwright Erez Driggs

To the full article

Pity and patience.

Turgeman as Ofer Marciano (Photo: screenshot, here 11)

Like me, they also refused Erez politely, in a friendly, humorous tone - the main thing not to offend or anger.

All to maintain good relations, because everyone is friends and acquaintances and unpleasant and even so it is difficult to succeed in the field, and the main thing is not to undermine the already shaky ground in the world of theater.

How much we were burned from within so as not to be burned in the profession, and how much the smile we adapted to us finally came in our backs.



Behind the scenes, I found out, there was a lively and burning discourse about Driggs' harassment.

For me, it was a new discovery, and from the moment I was exposed to it I was charged with the anger of others.

The last straw was the same interview in which he admitted in his correspondence and in the same breath denied that they were offensive or at least inappropriate.

Driggs did not lie;

I'm sure he believed in himself wholeheartedly, and unfortunately, I think many men are sure that ongoing harassment is the accepted way to approach women.

Otherwise I have no other way to explain the variety of sickening statements in my inbox.



It was this insight that led me to put Driggs' story on the record in public, and not to cut short his career at its peak.

Driggs represents a widespread, overly widespread phenomenon of sexual harassment on social media.

The rarer on the street to find unexpectedly exposed pins, unwanted butt pinches and loud invitations to strangers' beds, the more these translate into virtual communication.

And in the days when virtual communication largely replaces instant messaging, it can no longer be argued that textual harassment is "just messages."

This is our life.

Fear of a second season.

Driggs and Koller (Photo: Reuven Castro)

The importance of the discourse around Driggs is not only in denouncing Erez's own behavior, but in denouncing an entire culture that he represents. A culture that preserves the power relations between men and women in various fields of occupation, and deprives women of the sense of self-worth, ease and confidence they need to progress and grow. Erez Driggs is not the most dangerous sexual predator in the industry or even in the theater world. More than that, it's just the tip of the iceberg. It was only following the post I published that I came across testimonies of two other known harassers, whose behavior continues to sweep under the rug.



I have no interest in this or that revenge on Driggs, and I have no pleasure in his suffering. I can only assume he is suffering at the moment, because he has not contacted me since the post was published. In a certain place it is also convenient for me not to turn, there is something embarrassing about it. Simply put, I do not like it. It is not pleasant to cause a man pain, even if it has hurt many women. It could be that I am too compassionate, and it could be that I am compassionate precisely because I am the one who threw the burning match. Scary to take a person's future into your own hands, and in retrospect, without meaning to, that seems to be what I did. In my wildest dreams I never imagined that such a post would lead to items in the major editions of the news companies.



I feel sorry for Driggs, because I can imagine through the character of Ofer (Itai Turgeman) how he experiences himself. In his mind's eye, it seems to me that he sees himself as the main victim of his illness. He is certainly not proud of this pattern, and feels pathetic, as he said in an interview. When I watched Driggs in interviews and in the series, I saw before me a sore, sad man, whose unsettled masculinity is expressed aggressively towards women.



It hurts me about Driggs. It also hurts me about his partner, whom I knew a little during my studies and was under the impression that she is a lovely woman. But all this pain does not justify the toxic treatment that Driggs has given to many women around him, some of them girls, as he exploits his position in the world of theater (and more recently on television) to satisfy his sexual desires. Reports that the Broadcasting Corporation "Here" will seek to produce "rehearsals" without Driggs are constricting, but they mark another step in the welcome process of cleaning stables in the entertainment industry, and the theater world should learn from it and embrace it soon. The sullen man inside me is invited to join the new world.

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Source: walla

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