38% would still see movie if actor were accused of sexual assault

November 16, 2017

Since movie mogul Harvey Weinstein became the focus of a sexual assault scandal early in October, a cadre of celebrities have been accused of similarly predatory behavior. Now, a study has been conducted by YouGov Omnibus to determine whether such allegations might impact American consumer interest in the films and music to which these stars contribute.

For the purpose of the study, respondents were asked to imagine the upcoming release of a movie they’d been previously interested in seeing, and were asked to determine how they would proceed if the lead actor/actress in the film was accused of sexual assault.

Overall, 38% said they would see the movie as they had planned – 40% of men and 36% of women, respectively. A considerably smaller group said they would wait to hear if the person was convicted of the crime to see the movie (17% of men, 13% of women); while 14% of men and 17% of women, said they would never watch a movie that starred an actress or actor who had been accused of sexual assault.

Respondents also were asked to weigh in on how allegations against a musical artist would impact their purchase of an album just released by that performer. Far fewer respondents said they would act as planned in this category despite the allegations – only 24% of men and 19% of women. Nearly one-fifth of respondents said they would wait for a verdict before buying the album. Exactly one-fifth of men and women polled said they would stream the album regardless of the allegations. Slightly more than that said they would never buy or listen to the album.

Finally, nearly one-fifth of all respondents were unsure how they would proceed in either case. In both the hypothetical cases of a movie premiere and an album release, men were overall less likely to have their interest reduced by allegations of sexual misconduct.

YouGov uses an online panel of close to 2 million respondents nationwide to obtain its results.

Research contact: help.us@yougov.com

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