Harvey’s Perverse and Dangerous Hollywood. It’s still a Workplace, Right?

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October 23, 2017 by gregrabidoux2013

The Three Sexual Musketeers? Or the Predator and his Pals?

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.

Just a few of the many.

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.

Power. Fame. Perversion. A dangerous trifecta.

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.

Rose McGowan. A rose by any other name or for that matter anyone else didn’t have the courage to come forward. She did.

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.

No stranger to on and off-set sexual harassment Hitch gave stars like Janet Leigh, Kim Novak and Grace Kelly the “business.” But it’s not good ol’ Hollywood anymore, right?

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.

Fame. Power. Wealth. The presidency. The girl wanted it all. But did she know more than she says?

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.

 

 

 

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33 thoughts on “Harvey’s Perverse and Dangerous Hollywood. It’s still a Workplace, Right?

  1. Jessica V. says:

    You’re absolutely right. Hollywood shouldn’t be immune. However, let’s face it… fame and fortune will get you out of all kinds of sins, because that is where the power is.

    Hollywood types are more susceptible to this type of situation, as success in that industry is subjective, and this gives the gatekeepers all the power in the world, especially over young and vulnerable newcomers.

    While I share your frustration with the failure of successful females in the business, it’s common for victims of sexual assault to be silent. It’s a tough thing to report, especially if the perpetrator is a famous, powerful guy. We all see how that usually plays out. Also, females in show business all share the struggle against the “aging out” phenomenon that hits women over the age of 40 especially hard. By the time many of these were established enough to maybe feel comfortable about reporting, they were dealing with this struggle. I know. I know. Aren’t your millions enough to get you through life so you can now do the right thing?? I feel the same way….but it’s easier said than done.

    I agree that we need to think about the men and boys who are also victims of sexual assault. I recently watched the documentary, The Red Pill, and it has me thinking about all kinds of things in a different way.

    With all that said…with the way events are unfolding these days, I wouldn’t be too surprised if Harvey Weinstein ended up running for president.

  2. SJPE says:

    You point out something that has been missing from the media coverage, that sexual assault is about power and control, not about sex. The discussion has been focused on beautiful young women, which obfuscates this point. It is not about attraction, what the victim was wearing etc… I am a therapist, and completed a juvenile sexual offender counseling certification program. Perpertrators try to blame the victim, she was too attractive,I couldn’t help it, boys will be boys, she woukdn’t dress that way if she didn’t want it…. Focusing on these glamorous young women as the victims reinforces that.
    I have counseled child victims and child perpertrators. As “#metoo” demonstrates, this is a society wide issue, not limited to hollywood. The likes of Weinstein and Bill O’Riley get away with this because not only is there a power discrepancy between them and their victims, they have the financial resources to avoid the consequences of their actions. Which soeaks to a larger issue with out justice system, but I will leave that for another post. We have a system that punishes victims for coming forward, has no interest in putting forth resources to process rape kits, and a society that is willing to elect men who engage in such behavior to the highest office. We have legislators who think that people convicted of domestic violence should maintain a right to own guns, (surprise! these are the men who will use that gun to shoot their wives) and if you are an 11 year old cub scout and dare question your legislator on that, well, you’ll be kicked out of your den.

  3. Jud W says:

    Let’s be clear from the very start, sexual intimidation, assault and rape in any form to either sex is wrong and should be exposed and dealt with to the full extent allowed. No one should be above the law!

    Unfortunately, people of power using their position to get what they want has been a part of human history forever. Today, this has become an acceptable norm. No place is immune to it, whether it’s a CEO on Wall Street, a Politician in DC or a Producer in the City of Angels. We have seen Televangelist fall from their pulpit and America’s Favorite Dad fall from grace. Race, religion, political affiliation, public or private industry, it makes no difference.
    With that said, the double standard of the Hollywood Elite has been around since the earliest days of the Movie Industry. The term “Casting Couch” has been part of Hollywood folklore for decades and, as we have seen with the Weinstein situation, it is alive and well in Tinsel Town!
    The Weinstein Affair is a glaring example of this double standard. As news continues to come out daily, it is clear that Harvey Weinstein’s actions were the worst kept secret in Hollywood. It appears to be common knowledge and was treated by many as just a “Cost of doing Business.” Victims kept quite in order to preserve their careers and actors looked the other way in order to stay part of the “In Crowd.”

    Many of these “Hollywood Elites” live within a glass bubble and are quick to criticize middle America often telling us how we should live, who we should vote for and what is best for us. All you have to do is watch any of the recent Hollywood Award Shows and it is most apparent how out of touch with “Main Street America” Hollywood is. While quick to point fingers at others and telling us how to live, they were given the opportunity to step up and expose a Predator and chose to do nothing.

    Not exposing Weinstein and his actions to preserve your career is bad enough but, the worst of these guilt parties were the Politicians. For years, Weinstein has supported many of the top members of the Democratic Party. Whether it was direct contributions or $20,000.00 a plate fundraisers, Weinstein has been a huge contributor to Democrats for years. His influence with several of the “Far Left Elites” is significant. His endorsement was one of the most sought after in all of Hollywood. These Politicians knew of the rumors and still clamored for Weinstein’s endorsement and support. Even when he was exposed and the story was finally made public, it took almost two weeks before Hillary Clinton denounced his actions. So much for someone who considers herself the “Champion for Women.”
    As the investigation moves forward and eventually goes to trial, the story of Harvey Weinstein will be exposed to all the world. It will not be a pretty story. As victims continue to come forward, it grows bigger by the day. We do not know where this will finally end. Many of the victims came to Hollywood looking for fortune and fame, their American dream. They knew what Weinstein did to them was wrong. They did not come forward either out of shame or they felt it was just the price they had to pay to be famous.

    Please don’t blame the victims unless you have walked in their shoes. You can’t judge them. However, you can judge the Hollywood cronies and many politicians who knew what he was doing. Regardless, they all continued to rub elbows with him seeking his on-going endorsements and covering up his horrendous behavior. For that reason, the list of victims continued to grow needlessly. How can any of those guilty of turning a blind eye sleep well tonight? So many of these guilty supporters now have children of their own, both daughters and sons. Will these same parties turn a blind if their own children face time on the “casting couch?”

    Time is overdue for this atrocious behavior to change!

  4. Clint B says:

    Money is power in this country, plain and simple. I wish it weren’t the case but it is. If you have enough money to affect another person’s entire livelihood you can control them. It is a societal construct we created and suffer from alike. Everyone has a price and the people who would be made to investigate Harvey are no different. These ladies were left to stay silent for fear he could buy his way out of it and bury them in the process. People place their self worth into dollar form and the rest is history, you sell bits and pieces of yourself by comprising for one thing or another to achieve what you think you are worth. Even if your price is too high for Harvey to buy and you say no you then keep silent while he does the same and it becomes a silent standoff until its a thing of the past. Rose coming forward is a David and Goliath over modern proportion. Hopefully it brings forth a new era in Hollywood as you mention. It is past time that perversion usurps persuasion.

  5. Gary G. says:

    I agree with the position of this blog. However, while what you state is true and factual based on the law and common decency, there is still the unwritten law of the “wink and nod” that goes on behind closed doors and, in fact, supported by the very institutions that vow to protect people. What I mean by this is the NLRB and other union and protection agencies are only as strong as the politically elite allow them to be. Like any other entity, these organizations rely on those in power to back them to do their jobs. If an organization wants to file for say discrimination or harassment under Title IX, they still need a court and a process that will allow the case to be heard, would it not? Why do we think that Weinstein gave money to those in power who have the ability affect change and outcomes. He wasn’t exactly hiding his behavior. We should all find it highly suspect that after Rose McGown “rang the bell” on this over 2 years ago, that no one, not any entity or organization said, “Hey, there’s someone sending up smoke signals, perhaps we should go look into it.” They did nothing. So while Weinstein is the pig, Hollywood and the organizations that are supposed to protect people are the pigpen. Until that connection is broken, the up and coming Weinsteins of the world will flourish like cockroaches in a dark, damp room.

  6. TS says:

    This was the topic at a dinner engagement last evening, all women of various ages and education level. The eldest of the attendees begins the discussion by stating how weary she’s become with all coverage of Harvey Weinstein’s behaviors. She expands on this by declaring the women should be held responsible for not putting a stop to his advances, by which she believes could be accomplished by simply telling him to stop and walking away. The room became eerily silent, as obviously, there were some upset women at that table – I was one of them. When no one challenged her and she felt she had the floor, she told the story of a co-worker, some thirty years ago, who filed suit against the company controller citing sexual harassment for more than three years of this woman’s employment. The dinner companion discussed her frustration with this former co-worker and her use of the legal system to put a stop to a behavior she should have done herself and disclosed the lawsuit was the direct cause of the demise of this dinner companion’s relationship with her former co-worker. I could not believe what I was hearing, victim blaming at its finest – and from an educated, dependent, confident woman (or so I believed). Needless to say, this lovely dinner date eroded because I challenged her on this position, reminding her that last year she was adamantly opposed to Trump’s candidacy based on the reports/allegations on his treatment of women. Is this not the same thing? Her response was Weinstein’s victims (although she could not use the word victim because she disagreed with their claims of victimization) have privilege, i.e. they’re stars and their desire to become famous and wealthy intrinsically subjects them to such treatment, therefore they should accept it and move on. Again…shock. This leads to me to wonder, is this how her generation (she is around Weinstein’s age) views this type of behavior? I’m not surprised that victim blaming is still alive and well, but I am disgusted by her assertion that this type of behavior will persist and we (society) should just ignore it.

  7. CDN Aaron B says:

    What I find particularly disturbing is the enabling forces around this scandal.

    The victims of this behaviour may finally be gaining enough momentum to remove this particular individual from being able to assault in the future. For many in this particular industry it may be too little too late, see Girl 27 documentary.

    Weinstein’s exposure has led to social media movements that are calling out others in the entertainment business. This has additional concerning implications such the potential of the assumption of guilt before due process. However, that aside finding a voice to expose sexual assault perpetrators is long overdue. This crime has been known for poor reporting and as a result criminals continue to perpetrate their crimes.

    This is where I’m most interested in this issue. Although admissions from Tarantino and others that ‘they should have done more’, is an apology enough? Where is the line drawn that people who were aware become actual accessories to the crime? I think there is an important opportunity here that these high powered sexual predators need to be punished, but there also needs to be some thought about those that enable them. I fear that there will continue to be predators that capitalize on the hopes and dreams of youth, however, if those around them are subject to being prosecuted for their role, will this in effect create more of a whistle blower culture that can help prevent these crimes in the future?

    Lastly, the point about Cory Feldman is well taken. But again, some concerns. Cory has been claiming he was abused for years, but ‘couldn’t tell due to fear’. Why did we not act on these statements prior?

    Media outlets prior seem to have been ineffective at addressing some of these dark issues. Social media has its draw backs but as a tool to whip up a frenzy it is very effective. When used to create awareness to injustice it can be useful, but any tool that creates frenzy poses just as many risks as well.

  8. Justin w says:

    Although Hollywood is not unique in its culture of condoning and covering up such behavior, it is likely one of the more extreme examples. Why? Because, fundamentally, this is about the concentration of power. And Hollywood has a very high concentration of power. As you stated, Weinstein could make or break people’s careers. And, honestly, people don’t go to Hollywood for “careers”; they go because it’s their “dream.” So the power Weinstein had was to fulfill or crush people’s dreams. Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly had similar power — but, I would argue, not to the same level as someone like Weinstein.

    Now, this doesn’t just help explain why this behavior happens. It also helps explain why the behavior is condoned. No one wants to be blacklisted; and if you knew about some powerful person’s bad behavior, why would you risk your livelihood when there’s a low likelihood that doing so would actually change anything? It’s the risk vs. reward conundrum.

    For an example outside of Hollywood — and outside of a sexual context — remember the Russian doping scandal from the last Olympics where there was state-sanctioned doping? In this case, it wasn’t a person with the power, but a country that had the power to fulfill or crush dreams. Russia’s athlete’s put their lives in the hands of the state. And, similar to the situation in Hollywood, the victims — in this case the athletes — feared that becoming a whistleblower would put their dreams at risk.

    We are surprised at the complicit actors — and sometimes even the victims — but should we be? Humans are very good at justifying our own behavior. We delude ourselves with our own narratives that rationalize the decisions we make. And once we rationalize a past action, it becomes easier to rationalize our continued actions that are congruent with those past actions.

    So what can we do about it? To start, national associations, unions, and other organizations can better promote their whistleblower protection clauses. We, as a society, can also do a better job of supporting and honoring whistleblowers, marking it as a sign of bravery. Also, on the other side of things, we can try public shaming when the evidence against a person or organization has been proven in a court of law and the media’s attention was not sufficient to change behavior. Barclays decided it would end mountaintop removal mining because of public shaming. McDonalds decided it would stop using pink slime because of public shaming.

    Now, none of these things reduce the concentration of power. To do that would require changing the way whole business sectors are organized and overseen. But these are small steps we can take to change behavior of those in power, regardless of whether they’re using their power for sexual satisfaction or, in Russia’s case, glory.

  9. Charles C says:

    This is not a problem only relegated to Hollywood, but has a long history and still exists in all places throughout corporate America. As Dr. Rabidoux noted, this is more of a power play than a sexual desire. As despicable as these events are, it is even more despicable that bystanders allow it to happen repeatedly. It would almost be laughable if not such a serious matter. Out of the many people that knew about this but said nothing, some are self-described feminist such as Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep. While there were many young and upcoming actors, these are two well established that should have nothing to fear. I find it completely repugnant that in a town that lashes out at anything, they deem an injustice; this went on for decades with full knowledge of many of the same that lash out at other injustices.

    To relate this to something more recent, many in Hollywood were appalled and rightly so at the “locker room banter” between Donald Trump and Billy Bush. The outcry was very boisterous, but the silence was deafening over the Weinstein’s activities. Donald Trump was completely wrong to make such comments regardless of the truth of them as that perpetuates the belief that it is okay and I completely condemn him of his talk and actions just as I do with Weinstein. I do find it ironic that those who found their voices against Trump, but could not utter a peep in the Weinstein case. Yes, this could be because Weinstein was such a powerful person and could stall or even prevent careers from happening. But could it also be because it was accepted as part of the culture as Dr. Rabidoux so noted regarding past victims having the mindset that they endured it, so the up and comers can endure it as well. That is appalling and those who accept this behavior are not much different from Weinstein because they could have prevented these activities from proceeding. I do understand this is much more complicated than I have made it and that victims of such crimes react differently. Many are scared of retribution or are embarrassed and just want to forget the event and I believe the victims have the right to privacy. The others who knew of it but were not involved are the worst offenders aside from Weinstein himself, although not much better in my opinion.

    As for the political aspect that was brought into this by the money donated to campaign by Weinstein, I find ridiculous. As reprehensible as I find most politicians these days on both sides of the isle, you cannot expect them to vet every source of donations and even if they did, to know this was taking place. By giving the money back or to a charity has done nothing to alleviate the problem, aside from possibly donating to a victim advocacy program or sexual assault and/harassment training. This just takes the events, politicizes them, and takes the focus away from where it should be, and that is back in Hollywood with the corrupt “see something, say nothing” attitude.

    I hope that some good will come of this. We have seen another actor come forward recently accusing Kevin Spacey of attempting to coerce him into having a sexual relationship at a party when he was only fourteen. Maybe this will encourage others to come forward that have been harassed, assaulted, and even raped. It may also encourage those who know of such events to come forward even if they are not the victim. As mentioned in the blog. These are violations of any workplace in the United States as well as criminal acts that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

  10. Chris C. says:

    Absolute power corrupts. This is just another example of the elite in Hollywood and Washington thinking they are above the law and the rules. I am not one bit surprised about the accusations, but am perplexed by the amount of time they covered and now it seems we are having new accusations every day, some that are not even in Hollywood. I was shocked to see how wide spread this problem is and it is sad to see this on a personal level. I have seen many stories on #metoo from my friends and some of it is just shocking. I think most of us would have to agree that this type of behavior has to stop and it is up to each of us to do our part. I had a very good friend that recently went to Savannah for a business trip. She was going to be down there for a couple of days and was staying on River Street. I told her I was jealous, but she was not very excited about going. I started talking about all of the places to go and told her she had to check out the dueling piano bar. What she told me next really made me angry. She said she couldn’t go to a place like that unless she wanted to get groped and felt up all night. I told her she was being silly, but she assured me that men constantly “bump” into her and other women in bars. I brought this up at work and several of the ladies agreed. This is just sad. Men need to treat women with the respect they deserve. I know my father would have a few “words” for me if I behaved like that.

  11. R.W. says:

    Workplace rules protecting victims are only as useful as someone who feels able to voice the incident and someone to voice this to. The apparent corruption in Hollywood does not allow for victims to have a powerful entity in which to voice their concerns enabling years of this behavior to continue. The perpetrator’s behavior then becomes bolder as they get away with apparent blatant corruption of power and control. The ongoing acceptance of this behavior through the years is a perfect place for people who might not be able to engage appropriately in other professions due to personality disorders and/or sexual proclivities.

    Therefore, the question becomes how does one establish a safe harbor, of sorts, much like other workplaces to combat this behavior. Given how people have turned the other way in the face of these behaviors, Hollywood must establish a way for victims to safely be protected in this “workplace” should this actually be something this field wants to change. If America wishes to communicate the need for change than supporting productions that do not provide protection to victims will not support this change. Hollywood productions are money driven and the public has significant power in this arena.

    The power and control wheel has been widely utilized within the field of domestic violence and many people have been exposed to this concept if they have had training in this field. This concept has also been adapted to various other situations (bullying, workplace, children, etc.) and models to combat these issues have also been published. Additional information can be found here: http://www.ncdsv.org/publications_wheel.html. Silence is another form of acceptance and we know that turning the other way does not stop the behavior but allows it grow. This country can no longer be silent, pretending these atrocities are not a domestic situation otherwise we continue to allow more children and adults to endure reprehensible situations all in the name of entertainment.

  12. Melissa T says:

    What I would like to know is why the female employee who set up these meetings is not speaking out or in conflict with the years of criminal behavior. She is an accomplice by all measures of the law. The Harveys and Bills in the world have used their stature and power to get what they want and so many have stood silent. Why now? Why has this behavior occurred for decades to many, many women and so many people stood silent? What kept them from reporting this behavior? Aren’t their associations and guilds that would investigate this behavior? Furthermore, whether you are in Hollywood or not, an actor or not, crime is crime and the law is the law. There are police officers who get paid to take down these people.

    So flip the coin. The victims held their silence so that they could further their careers. Shame on them for thinking domestic violence is an acceptable means to rise to the top. Bless their hearts for thinking their self worth and value is less than a great career and having their names in lights. I hope that in light of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein, that people learn to speak up and speak loud. Do not turn the other cheek for sake of saving your careers. Save other humans! There is greater good in that.

    • Apparently, some have settled out of court, basically they got money and no criminal charges for spilling the beans on the upper-level execs. This is the case in Miramax and now one at Paramount.

  13. JCE says:

    As a female, I find it interesting how those who deny the seriousness of sexual harassment often liken it to harmless flirting or “boys being boys.” From my own experience, it only seems to occur to the person who is an equal or (more likely) a subordinate. Rarely does a subordinate sexually harass a superior, as career suicide would be the likely result. So it must be about power. But I think if it were only about power (and not sex), people wouldn’t be so damn stupid about it. So much of what constitutes sexual harassment could probably be avoided by the person (a guy in this example) first asking themselves “would I say this to another guy?” or even “would I say this to this woman in front of my wife?”

    When I was in my late-20’s and working at a major corporation, I was flagrantly harassed by a (married) male supervisor. I complained to his boss and was told to ignore it (and “just avoid being alone with him”). When I quit shortly thereafter, I told HR. They were floored. Or so I thought. I assumed he’d be fired; He wasn’t… at least not until a few years later when the company was sued by another female he’d harassed. So companies risk ignoring this behavior at their own peril. Hopefully, the #metoo revolution will affect positive change in that regard.

  14. TLGBFT says:

    It is very disappointing to know that sexual harassment in Hollywood is such a dirty, big, well known secret. These predators have used the threat of blackball as their weapon of choice, and clearly, it is a mighty powerful weapon. Most members of the elite Hollywood circle are left-leaning, liberal people, but obviously, money is more important than personal values. The leading men of Hollywood have let the “bad boys” continue the immoral practice of harassment without calling them out on their bad behaviors…not surprising. However, the women’s silence is quite alarming. When the darlings are silent when other women are suffering is simply sad. Self-preservation is the prevailing value in Hollywood. Speaking up to help another was become more taboo than the sexual harassment itself. How absurd is that?

  15. L. Render says:

    It agree this types of behavior are definitely about power and control. Although they are sexual in nature, the rush comes from being able to control others through power. The pursuit of power and authority is what drives many of us towards successful careers. However no one should be forced to compromise themselves in order to achieve their success. Sexual harassment in the workplace can be perpetrated by anyone. Sometimes harassment comes down the chain of power and sometimes up. We like to think awareness is key. Most work environments mandate workplace harassment trainings so employees know how to identify and report unwanted harassment. In this case it seems awareness is not really the key. For years professionals chose to ignore the happenings and as a result very few made reports. Now as you say the industry has chosen to not play dumb anymore, we have to accept responsibility of protecting the vulnerable.

  16. CHall says:

    The endless news reports over the last month or so on the countless allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood is just disgusting! Several of the comments talk about “old Hollywood” and “the way it used to be.” It seems that using your position of power in inappropriate ways has been overlooked for many years because there was some kind of unspoken pass for the powerful and wealthy – as if these people are untouchable and rules don’t apply to them. I know from the reports that many of these situations involved very serious sexual assaults. However, I think sometimes women (and men) find themselves in situations teeter on the line of inappropriate and leave women wondering if they should say anything or not. A sexual comment here, an inappropriate touch there. It seems that many times women don’t speak up in these instances because it is easier to just overlook it and move on. But as we have seen, overlooking it once most likely means it will happen again and maybe even increase in severity the next time.

    Same with those that choose to turn a blind eye to this behavior. It seems that people feel like it’s not their place to say something or the behavior they witness is not “too bad” and therefore, why speak up? I heard an interview this week from a prominent TV host who was being questioned about the Harvey Weinstein issue because he apparently ran in the same circle. When asked if he saw any signs of sexual deviance over the years he said, “Yes, I could have done something.” He talked about what I mentioned above – situations that were over the line, now that we know what we know about Harvey, but at the time seemed like a “boys being boys” kind of thing.

    Although the latest news is focused on the entertainment industry, sadly, I think this is a problem in most industries. It’s just disgusting and what’s even more disheartening is that, as a woman, I not really surprised that this type of thing is happening.

  17. Levi says:

    You raise a good point. Hollywood and the film industry are subject to the law and are within federal jurisdiction. Working for a film company is no different than working for any other type of business, and employees are protected by federal regulations. The buddy-buddy nature and “protecting one’s own” mentality has only led to a disgraceful atmosphere that enables vile sexual offenders to roam freely and victimize more people. Let’s not sugar-coat it, what people like Harvey Weinstein have done is criminal, and they should be in jail for their crimes.
    But the problem of ignoring the problem is not only pervasive in Hollywood. If you look to the opposite coast, the swamps of Washington D.C. are a bastion of not just bad behavior, but outright criminal conduct. Too many (mostly) men in powerful positions think that a title gives them the right to attach and prey on women with impunity. This is wrong. This must be stopped. Their perverted actions must be brought to light, and steps need to be made to ensure a safe workplace for everyone.

  18. Canesta says:

    Unfortunately, sexual exploitation in Hollywood is nothing new. We have all heard of “the casting couch” in one way or another. It is wrong in any workplace to take advantage of others for your own selfish depravity. Even though I always thought something was really “off” about Corey Feldman, I always believed that something very bad had happened to him as a child star. My heart goes out to all the victims whether, rich or poor, because no human being should be subjected to this kind of treatment. However, every time this behavior is discussed, we hear about Bill Cosby. Ok, well why is Stephen Collins, the guy from 7th Heaven, almost never brought up? This guy admitted to child molestation, publicly, and to his wife. All sexual predators should be held to the same standard. I pray that all who have been affected by these sexual predators can get the help the need, and by their standing up, and shining the light on what’s going on in Hollywood, prevent others from experiencing the same kind of abuse.

  19. Jenny K. says:

    This is the craziest thing I have probably heard in a long time but yet it wasn’t very surprising. This culture is alive everywhere in American society. Either we look the other way or we blame the victim. It is an extremely difficult subject to bring up in America in the first place. Sex is such a taboo topic.

    Power is definitely the reason behind why sexual harassment persists in society today. It will continue until societies perspective on power changes. I’m sure the next Weinstein story we will hear will come from Congress or another arena that has absolute power.

    I am glad that you do introduce the topic that sexual harassment is not just a crime with female victims. Boys and men are just as susceptible to sexual harassment as girls and women. The difference is that there are fewer women in power to have the heterosexual harassment and boys/men are even less willing to discuss it. It is even “more” embarrassing/difficult for a man to state they were harassed then women. This can be seen with the women who have come forward and the victim blaming they are receiving. Men receive the same but because they are men they should of been stronger to say no or they are now considered gay. A stigma that still has negative connotations in our society.

  20. Samuel G says:

    What stuck out to me the most is that Harvey Weinstein’s actions were widely known and he wasn’t reprimanded or criminally prosecuted over all those years. Instead, his actions were known as “the Weinstein treatment” and normalized. Like the article states he had the ability to make a career or spark a major comeback in a failing one. He could make dreams come true and I would imagine this to be great power in that industry. Modern day I could see this behavior by a powerful individual transcend industries, even down to the normal 9 to 5 professional job. At my place of employment I see this less likely to happen because there are sexual harassment reporting systems in place that are readily and easily available to victims.

  21. lauren harrell says:

    It doesn’t cease to amaze me what types of scandals are hidden, lies that remain uncovered, and lives that are devastated as the result of sexual harassment, assault, and other crimes of victimization. Recently I followed a campaign entitled #metoo and was blown away by the stories never told. Victims were speaking out anonymously in various social media platforms just for the right to be heard without backlash. Nomore.org, a website that encourages banding together to end sexual violence states that 1 out of every 3 women experience some form of sexual assault or domestic violence in their lifetime. It also states that 1 out of every 6 men experience sexual abuse before the age of 18…If those numbers are not staggering and heartbreaking enough – the website also suggests that of the victims that are actually brave enough to come forward and speak up – 65% of those victims said that they received no help. When you combine the lights and pressures of Hollywood with those statistics, the fear of retaliation or retribution outweighs the desire for justice and safety for mankind. It’s just sad.

  22. B Penn says:

    I see this not so much as a legal issue, but rather as us being on the verge of a cultural tipping point. Sexual harassment, except for the extreme cases, has simply been accepted by society during the past several decades. It appears that this is changing (or at least is on the verge of doing so).

    Sure, this phenomenon started in Hollywood but has now spread to politics with Roy Moore, Al Franken, Donald Trump, George H.W. Bush, and John Conyers now in hot water for their alleged and/or admitted behavior. Only a few decades ago Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas could largely brush off such allegations.

    I just read in the Chronicle that now a professor at UVA has been accused of a long-standing pattern of sexual harassment towards his students. As an undergrad, I had a professor who was rumored to have engaged in such behavior and it really was an open secret within the school. Nobody really said anything about it back then. Times are changing, though, and it appears that we have societally embraced the courage to stand up to this kind of behavior. I hope that this trend continues.

  23. missnrb says:

    Unfortunately, sexual harassment happens whether it is demands for sexual favors, verbal or physical harassment, or unwelcome sexual advances. Ideally, the workplace (even Hollywood) should make every effort and take the necessary steps to prevent sexual harassment. If it does happen, it must be addressed right away. Legally, all complaints must be investigated thoroughly and promptly. Prompt investigations and effective intervention are imperative to prevention. The lack thereof by Hollywood and other workplaces sent a clear message to victims, predators, and enablers that harassment was not punishable or taken seriously. Furthermore, it means that there is a chance for retaliation against the victims and the “Grand Dames.” It can be difficult and daunting to fight against a major cog in the system.

  24. Sergio B says:

    Everything must be revealed now. It is because of blogs like this that expressions become known. There is a hidden sadistic behavior happening through positions belonging to seats of power. Hollywood is not known for saint like mannerism. Sexual harassment is a perversion to our life especially for jobs, positions and status. Downgrading your morality to please another waives your right and liberties to only give the violator privilege through infringement. Fear is another tool used to keep the slave enslaved, so people in power positions use their position to enforce unlawful potentialities. We have only what we give, if you give your rights away you don’t have any rights. Knowledge is another source of power used mischievously to gain advantage over people. Misinformation is dangerous as a child wielding a firearm. In life, everything do not apply to you be careful and examine every matter thoroughly. Unless you would like to be taken advantage of by human vultures who feed on humans who lack of knowledge of self.

  25. Melany says:

    I’m in awe of how many heads have started rolling since the beginning of this. Just this morning it was Matt Lauer’s. It’s one thing to hear about one pervert in Hollywood making women do things they don’t want to do to keep their careers from collapsing. It’s been quite another seeing how many people are coming forward with accusations and the majority of the people being accused are admitting fault and taking a plea deal. Blow’s my mind. I’m glad that the people who have been violated feel enough support now to come forward. These perps need to be addressed, lose their jobs, and go to jail. What they are doing is wrong and they need to pay the price. I am slightly concerned that some people will start coming forward making accusations when they made a bad decision and want to place blame elsewhere. That is a completely different situation and sadly, hoping people don’t ‘jump on the band wagon’.

  26. jkhamman says:

    I’m happy that Women are feeling strong enough to stand up for themselves. They have been mistreated by Men in power in every situation. The author explains for people like Weinstein and Cosby its not about the sexual act but about the power they have over the women. Harvey Weinstein would invite women out to a dinner date to offer them a role in one his movies. The women would say yes because they thought it was all about business but in the end it was only about Weinstein taking them to a hotel room where he would disrobe. When he disrobe sometimes they wouldn’t be in the room yet and when they enter he was waiting for them. They knew at the moment for them to the role they would have to perform a sexual act.

  27. jkhamman says:

    I’m happy that Women are feeling strong enough to stand up for themselves. They have been mistreated by Men in power and felt insecure about coming out. The author explains for people like Weinstein and Cosby its not about the sexual act but about the power they have over the women. Harvey Weinstein would invite women out to a dinner date to offer them a role in a movie. The women would say yes because they thought it was all about business but in the end it was only about Weinstein taking them to a hotel room where he would disrobe. When he disrobe sometimes they wouldn’t be in the room yet and when they enter he was waiting for them. They knew at the moment for them to get the role they would have to perform a sexual act. I feel bad they were put in a position that forced them to make a choice. The women didn’t feel they were able to speak out because people wouldn’t believe them. We should do something to make Women feel more comfortable with telling their story and allow them privacy after they tell their story.

  28. Daniel T says:

    It takes a lot of courage for people to speak out, especially against celebrities. This is so wrong, but people are so timid to come out and speak when they are the victims. These victims are afraid they could ruin their own careers or even lives if they come out and tell the world about uncomfortable situations they were put in. To me, that speaks more to the society we live in. We’re too focused on careers and our image instead of doing the right thing.

  29. Diane M. B. says:

    This is a sad situation that was allowed to continue far too long due to a toxic environment of people who condoned these horrible acts by their silence. I was shocked to learn so many other celebrities knew of this behavior and did nothing to report or stop it. I couldn’t imagine being in a situation where I had to agree to sexual acts with my boss to keep my job or obtain further employment. I am happy so many women have now been empowered to tell their story and hopefully obtain help, if needed, for the abuses they endured. Their bravery will help others come forward and send a message to would be Hollywood predators that their behavior will not be tolerated and will be exposed.

  30. MTR says:

    There is definitely an issue in Hollywood and there is no questioning that fact. The goings on in many “scouting” meetings is horrendous, at best, and we have seen this spill over into other areas of entertainment, politics, and sports. Let there be no doubt that the behavior described is inexcusable. However, we have seen over the last several weeks many public figures who have been terminated or permanently damaged in reputation over the mere accusation of impropriety. I would lend a word of caution that an accusation does not make a guilty man.

    Believe it or not, there are some people out there, women and men, that will attack others and lob accusations with the hopes of payoff in cash or notoriety, or both. It is sad that we must often question the motives of alleged victims, but the reality is that we must, lest we be a party to the destruction of the innocent. Those guilty should be nailed to the wall both civilly and criminally, but we must be diligent in our examination of the facts and relentless in our quest for the absolute truth.

  31. elizabeth d says:

    Yes, a sexual predator is a predator and, also, a reprobate and sex addict and criminal. He should be classified as a dangerous sexual predator and sentenced to probation for the rest of his natural life.

  32. Ebony Bowles says:

    I agree! It is time for Hollywood to stop being off limits! It is astounding that Weinstein has been doing this for years and no one has spoken against it until now. I don’t believe that every last one of those women were too afraid of Weinstein to come forward. I believe that they rather endure what he dished out and keep their money and fame. Sad!

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