Back in 1937, a 20-year-old dancer was raped by an MGM salesman at a studio party. Tricked by a call from an outstandingly famous studio named MGM studio, Patricia’s destiny decided to take a toll on her life. Patricia Douglas was a dancer by profession and lived with her mother. The girl had dreams in her eyes and sparkle in her veins. Douglas broke her 65-year-old silence when the author decided to share her plight with the world. She revealed all the perjury, bribes, and smear tactics used by society’s devils to destroy her.
David Stenn( The Author) is an American television writer who stumbled upon a long gone scandal and started his pursuit of the story. An astonishing fact came to his knowledge that Patricia was still alive. He found her and got her to tell the story. Initially hesitant to disclose her dark past, she later communicated with the author. She was shown pictures of a few men and was asked if she has ever seen these men. To a particular man in an image, Douglas said, “I see him every night.”
David subsequently made a documentary film ‘GIRL27’, which gained instant popularity. The revelations of inhumane acts of influential personalities of Hollywood came out and got renewed attention. In the New York Times, an op-ed piece in January 2018, Stenn points out that “injustice can thrive only in silence. Finally, the story of Patricia Douglas and others like her now resonates in Hollywood and beyond.”
MISFORTUNE OF PATRICIA DOUGLAS
MGM was like the Sirius A of Hollywood in those times and was filled with glamour. Patricia, the 20-year-old virgin, was nowhere to be fitted in this world of glamour then. She was a young and motivated girl who moved into the city with her mother. Patricia Douglas was a simple girl and never had any sexual interaction, drinking habits, or dating experience until the doomsday arrived. She was invited
to participate in the what she thought was a forthcoming movie. Tricked by the men, little did they know, they had a different job coming up that night. She never knew that this would be a party filled with booze and drunken men, and they were expected to be entertaining them. This was quite odd for the young woman.
With numerous other underage women, Patricia was expected to entertain hundreds of salesmen at an MGM convention. While other studios were struggling to maintain themselves, MGM was becoming a brand for Hollywood. So, in reality, a party was organized for the salesmen and executives of MGM who flocked in from Los Angeles, for they had a great year filled with success. So it was a matter of celebration. The girls were hired mainly to be the eye candy for the executives and the salesmen. The women who showed up for the ‘AUDITION’ were dressed up in a skimpy outfit of cowgirls and were then taken to a party they weren’t aware of.
They were expected to be entertaining a bunch of drunkards which they were completely unaware of. Douglas was targeted for the brutal crime that was given effect by David Ross. She told Stenn that David Ross, who was from the Chicago office, had been trying to get close to her during her dance. So the woman attempted to escape and went to the restroom. When she came out, Ross, with his accomplice, held her down and poured liquor into her mouth. She somehow managed to escape but who can fight destiny? She was caught, thrown into Ross’s car, and was brutally raped.
She stumbled out of the car after this heinous happening. She was taken to Culver City hospital where the doctor declared no signs of sexual activity which communicated illicit ties of the hospital with MGM. She later disclosed the cold water bath given to her in the hospital, destroying any legit shreds of evidence. She also stated about her swollen face and her embarrassment in going out as there were possibilities of someone who might have spotted her naked. The poor victim slept for fourteen hours.
A civil suit was filed later against MGM executives and David Ross. Many powerful men conspired against her and were determined to destroy her. The studio kept the case out of court for an extended period and was later dismissed. She filed a lawsuit in federal court but the lawyer did not show up on the date and neither did MGM. So this case was also dismissed as expected. The entire episode was declared as something “impossible.”
Post this traumatic incident and the realization that she would receive no aid even from the authorities; she was on one’s last legs. She isolated herself and decided not to talk about this incident until Stenn flipped the history pages and discovered everything that happened with poor Douglas. He even disclosed all the illegal and hidden relationships between the MGM toppers, the DA’s office, and even the hospital doctor.
MGM’s fixer Eddie Mannix was given the job to shut Douglas up. He was responsible for maintaining MGM’s reputation, so he looked into Douglas’s family background but did not find anything against her. So he asked the other women who were present at the party to say that she was sloshed, although she didn’t drink at all. They even hired Pinkerton detectives to declare Douglas promiscuous by forcing people to lie in interviews about her.
The gameplay in their mind was to declare her a SLUT and thus incapable of being raped. SLUTS CAN’T BE RAPED- was the basic mindset of people back then. They even tried to get Douglas’s urologist to say that she had a genital urinary infection- a euphemism for gonorrhea. A case was later filed but Ross had a chain of contacts and only two of the other women at the party testified in her favor.
Even a family member of Douglas testified against her. Stenn contacted the family and was told that he was offered any job he wanted in the studio. So ultimately, the hearing did not go according to Douglas.
She was way too disturbed about how she was quiet for a long period. She stated, “it ruined my life, it ruined my life. They put me through such misery; it took away all my confidence.” She’s been called names her entire life, but she still had the heart to say, “when I die, the truth dies with me, and that means those bastards win.”
Patricia certified the fact that nothing is more potent than the patience and consistency of a determined human. She was broken yet strong. A four-decade long case was brought back to light and revealed the sinful reality of MGM. She is indeed a hero who stood for herself and roared against the beasts who threw her down multiple times.