Roman Polanski Attacks the #MeToo Movement as 'Mass Hysteria'

Roman Polanski finally faced a bit of his own #MeToo reckoning last week, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled the Oscar-winning director from its ranks alongside Bill Cosby, a Hollywood peer recently convicted of sexual assault. But Polanski, who fled the U.S. after pleading guilty to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977, believes that the movement that's flipping the tables on men who have long abused their power in Hollywood is nothing more than "collective hysteria."

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

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