October 23, 2017 by gregrabidoux2013
Harvey Weinstein, the now deposed and despised former chairman of Miramax Studios has become the box office promotional poster for all that is rotten in Hollywood. And man, the amount of rot would, apologies to Sir William Shakespeare, make Denmark seem like a crystal, clean paradise.
The allegations now being brought forth by his accusers are fast becoming, well, Bill Cosby-like in their sheer breadth, depth and time-span.
Weinstein is being accused by over 30 female actors that over the last three decades he has systematically used his position of power and influence to sexually harass, coerce, intimidate, assault and yes, rape them. In short, he is the sexual predator’s predator.
The allegations all seem to follow a similar pattern of perverse and illegal behavior. He or usually a female employee (to put fellow females at ease) contacts an up and coming starlet or even an established start looking for an even bigger box office score. Let’s just have a private dinner and chat about this next role, you know the one that could make you in this town or spark your comeback or cement your legendary status. Okay, thinks the actor. I mean, sure I’ve heard stories about getting “the Weinstein treatment” but he wouldn’t dare try that on me not with another female there or not to a start of my luminescence.
Then, shortly into the informal “chat” the female employee respectfully excuses herself and now it is the sexual predator and the prey. Not one for subtle nuances Weinstein frequently would simply immediately disrobe, offer clear “quid pro quo” terms (as in you do this sexual service to me now and you’ll be my top choice for what will surely be the next Academy Award role) that would make Hannibal Lecter blush.
Then the female actor, regardless of her star pedigree was forced to make a decision that no actor or anyone in any type of workplace should ever be forced to make-engage in some type of sexual activity with the “boss” or have your emerging/established/legacy career end. Or at least be delayed or come to a screeching halt.
And years of studying, counseling and post-therapy monitoring of sexual predators like Weinstein have shown us that frequently, if not always, it is not solely or even mostly, about the sex acts or gratification of the predator.
Let’s not kid ourselves here.
It is about that rush of adrenaline that only power, even in some twisted, perverse and manipulative, demeaning way can provide for people in power like Weinstein.
But while we are striving to not play dumb here, let’s also face another equally, maybe even more disturbing fact or two.
Harvey Weinstein is far from being the only sexual predator in Hollywood and for everyone like him there are seemingly an infinite number of all-too willing enablers, am I right Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Matt Damon and Quentin Tarantino?
For literally decades Harvey Weinstein’s disgusting sexual behavior was known by well, nearly everyone who ever crossed his path. Rose McGown of television’s Charmed fame who alleges Weinstein raped her also has choice words for stars like Ben Affleck who she claims knew about it and chose to not only look the other way but protect Harvey in order to protect his (Ben’s) standing as one of Harvey’s inner circle. Ditto for Damon and Affleck’s little brother Casey who like his big brother has also been accused of sexual assault and harassment. Nice family values boys. Maybe Ben should forget the Batman cape and simply live by himself in a dark cave with his sidekick Casey.
But sadly, it’s not just the “boys” of Hollywood who knew and did nothing. The “Grand Dames” of Hollywood like Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Helen Mirren knew all too well about Weinstein. But apparently, to come out and point a deserved finger might just jeopardize their own lofty and comfy perches and geez, to each his or her own, right? I had to put up with it so should she. So much for sisterhood.
On the other hand, Hollywood is still a legal workplace within federal jurisdiction, right?
I mean there are still contracts, employees, salaries, money exchanging hands and actual professional goods and services (of the non-real-life sexual nature) being exchanged just like at any other workplace.
People are being recruited, interviewed, hired, trained, directed, supervised, promoted and fired. Just like at any other workplace.
So, let’s stop pretending that the world of Hollywood pretend is or should somehow be immune from local, state and federal laws. The bygone bad days of “boys shall be boys” and a wink and a nod that to get ahead you have to um, well you know, should be a relic of the past. We seem to be insisting this be so everywhere else so why is Hollywood seemingly immune? It shouldn’t be.
There are corporate tax breaks, federal Title IX and IV and V laws, NLRB case-law and civil rights and workplace protections and penalties for such crap everywhere else. It shouldn’t take female actors like Rose McGowan to ring the alarm bell for over 2 years at her own expense of reputation, fame and livelihood to help draw attention to farmhouse pigs like Weinstein. Especially when he has pals like the Affleck boys and Damon who seem all too willing and happy to roll about in the mud with boss hog Harvey.
It’s one thing for politicians like Hillary and Bill Clinton who have benefitted politically and personally from Weinstein’s wealth, power and generosity over the years to ignore his behavior for years and feign ignorance when the “film shoot” hits the fan. We’ve grown to expect that from politicians of all stripes, sadly.
But some of us still have hope that there are decent people in the industry of film-making who deserve better and need the long-arm of the law to protect them from predators like Weinstein and director James Toback (also accused now of similar behavior over decades) as they pursue their dreams. Dreams of fame and stardom that don’t and should not include real-life degradation, shame and sexual assault. Or worse.
Since we have now committed to never playing dumb again about these matters let’s also face another disturbing, troubling and awful truth-It’s not just young women that get sexually assaulted, harassed and even raped. Just ask former child star Corey Feldman or current child star (Stranger Things) Finn Wolfhard. Our young boys and sons deserve our protection from these perverted predators in Hollywood just as much as our daughters.
Time for Hollywood to stop being off-limits for their perverse and illegal behavior.