On Harvey Weinstein

I have a feeling that this Harvey Weinstein story is going to be huge. It’s not that he was a sleazy Hollywood producer with a well-worn casting casting couch; that sort of stuff has been going on for ages. Nor is it that lots of people around him knew it was going on but covered it up; that too has been going on for ages. It’s more to do with who covered it up.

Since as far back as I can remember, Hollywood in general, and particularly famous actors and actresses, have been fully supportive of liberal, progressive politics and openly hostile to Republicans and conservatism. They worshipped at the feet of Barack Obama and went into meltdown over the election of Donald Trump. They have portrayed themselves as the moral arbiters of the nation, leading the way into a progressive new world by adopting every trendy cause going: Leonardo DiCaprio on global warming, Mark Ruffalo on fracking, Shia LeBeouf on anti-Trump, God knows how many actresses turning up in support of Planned Parenthood and other feminist-driven organisations. This culminated with Meryl Streep’s excruciating Oscar speech in which she positioned Hollywood celebrities like her as the shining beacons of hope in a country which would otherwise be nothing but ignorant white men watching football.

The Democrats, of course, have welcomed this unquestioning support for years, happy to hob-nob with Hollywood stars at swanky parties in New York and LA and receive millions in campaign donations along the way. Hollywood, Democrats, and liberal politics have become so intertwined it is almost impossible to separate the two. Also entangled in the whole lot is the media, which is largely the publicity arm of the Democratic party, and hence also firmly in bed with the Hollywood moguls. When Trump ran for president, everyone on the left – Democrats, the media, and Hollywood stars – lined up to condemn his misogyny and ill-treatment of women when the Access Hollywood tape (several years old) was mysteriously leaked at a crucial point in his campaign. This triggered the feminist-driven anti-Trump movement which after his election organised huge protest marches in support of women’s rights which they claimed were being eradicated under an administration which wasn’t even a week old. Several prominent Hollywood celebrities spoke at these highly-political marches, more attended, and the media gave them fawning coverage.

Now it appears that these same people have not only been close friends with a serial sexual predator, but they have been actively covering up his activities for years. The dyke was breached when Ashley Judd spoke to the New York Times about Weinstein’s behaviour towards her early in her career. Ironically, Judd subjected the masses to an unhinged political rant at the Washington Women’s March last January; one wonders why she chose to attack Trump – who she’s probably never met – than lodge a complaint about the man who actually abused her. I’ll get to the answer later.

Since then, the floodgates have opened. Several more prominent actresses have come forward with tales of abuse at the hands of Weinstein and with it dozens of pictures of actors, celebrities, and Democrat politicians cosying up to him while showering him with accolades. This would be less damaging were everyone in the dark as to what he was up to, but evidence is pouring in that his demands for sexual favours from young women was Hollywood’s worst kept secret. It was so widely known that Seth MacFarlane even joked about it at the 2013 Oscars, and everyone laughed.

It’s hardly surprising that few of these young women came forward to report him, and tempting though it is to point out that Judd only went to the papers once her career was over and her money earned, it is unfair. Yesterday an audio recording emerged of an encounter between actress/model Ambra Gutierrez and Weinstein. The conversation was recorded as part of an NYPD sting operation into Weinstein’s behaviour, and Gutierrez – who had been groped by Weinstein the day before – made the recording on their behalf. Weinstein admits on tape to inappropriate behaviour the day before, but the New York District Attorney – one Cyrus Vance Jr – decided to quash the case. If police recordings weren’t enough to bring about meaningful intervention into Weinstein’s behaviour, the mere word of a young woman wasn’t going to. As a measure of Weinstein’s clout, I read an anecdote on Twitter last week regarding an incident that took place at a very public event in New York. Some reporter had upset Weinstein and he grabbed him around the neck and basically threw him down some steps. Despite the dozens of photographers and cameramen around, not a single shot of the incident was published: nobody would dare.

Of course, covering up is one thing, actively defending the guy another. According to today’s Independent:

It’s been alleged by The Wrap founder Sharon Waxman that she investigated the accusations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein 13 years ago while reporting for The New York Times in 2004.

She claims this piece was cut from the paper due to both The Weinstein Company’s presence as an advertiser and alleged meddling by major Hollywood players including Matt Damon and Russell Crowe.

We also have this report from the New York Times which really doesn’t make Brad Pitt look too good after his then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow was propositioned by Weinstein:

She refused his advances, she said, and confided in Brad Pitt, her boyfriend at the time. Mr. Pitt confronted Mr. Weinstein, and soon after, the producer warned her not to tell anyone else about his come-on. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she said.

So Pitt knew about Weinstein since the time of this incident, which would have been around 1994, and said nothing. However, skeptics might point out that Paltrow wasn’t so traumatised that she couldn’t work with Weinstein afterwards in her defining role in Shakespeare in Love. Also in the NYT piece comes news that Weinstein also made unwanted advances on Angelina Jolie.

Okay, here’s the thing: I can understand why a young, unknown actress might not speak up about Weinstein, but Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow? Why are they only coming public with it now? Jolie has been one of the most powerful people in Hollywood for years, and Paltrow has been famous enough to brush off Weinstein for at least as long. Why did they not speak up sooner? And while we’re on the subject, why  haven’t these right-on Hollywood men responded to the Guardian‘s request for a comment:

The Guardian contacted more than 20 male actors and directors who have worked with the movie mogul over the years, some of whom have projects with Weinstein. All declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries about the accusations that the producer sexually harassed women over a period of nearly three decades.

The list of industry figures thus far remaining silent includes a number of male directors, such as the Oscar-nominated Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, the Hateful Eight) and David O Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter, Flirting With Disaster), who have both made numerous movies with Weinstein.

The liberal film-maker Michael Moore, currently working with Weinstein on a documentary about Donald Trump, also did not respond to a request for comment.

Here’s why. Firstly, nobody gives a shit about one another in these circles. Actors and actresses by nature are narcissistic, selfish assholes and would happily stab one another in the back to get ahead. Ditto Democrats and most of the media. That vicious, vindictive, nastiness that is ever-present among public figures who champion liberal politics – particularly celebrities – doesn’t simply disappear once they’re around friends. They don’t have any friends, just people they can use for now. I see Weinstein’s wife has just decided to leave him, as if she had no idea what he was like before. The directors of his company have fired him only because the public found out about his behaviour, not because they did. Paltrow and Jolie and all the other long-term, highly-protected A-listers are speaking out because as of this week it became the smart thing to do reputation and career-wise. Before that, they were happy to stay silent as women were abused and propositioned just as they had been when younger. So much for female solidarity.

The second reason is politics. For all the talk about Republican and right-wing misogyny, nine times out of ten any public figure caught abusing women in America will be a Democrat or one of their chief supporters. The notable exception is Donald Trump, but sharp-eyed observers will point out that he was a big pal of the Democrats throughout the entire period any bad behaviour was alleged to have taken place (and I wrote about his supposedly excusing sexual assault here). Only once he turned Republican did his misogyny become an issue. One thing this unfolding story about Weinstein will prove once and for all is that Democrats, liberals and their media lackeys will ignore, accept, and defend all manner of disgusting, sexually-abusive behaviour from men provided their politics conform with theirs. We could mention Roman Polanski, or Antony Weiner, or Bill Clinton; provided they are on the liberal, Democrat side of politics, anything is acceptable. But if you’re a Republican and you say you wouldn’t have dinner alone with a woman who wasn’t your wife, the liberal establishment goes into hysterics about misogyny and marches in protest, accusing you of “attacking women”.

I don’t know why Judd finally broke ranks and spoke to the NYT, but now the cat is out of the bag even his politics can’t save him (although some are trying, and others are rapidly backtracking). The liberal mouthpieces have now smelled blood in the water, a chance to take down an old, white guy, polish their third-wave feminist credentials, and push the narrative than women everywhere are subject daily to horrific sexual exploitation by male bosses. Presumably they think nobody will notice they covered it up for years purely because he helped their careers and espoused the right politics.

Commenter Phil B asked me yesterday why I continued to fisk the nonsense that Laurie Penny writes, and this is my answer. In yesterday’s post I commented on how she is happy to remain friends with somebody with a history of sexually assaulting women because she approves of his politics. In the post the day before I recalled how she allowed her rapist to get close to her because “he was a fun-loving, left-leaning chap who was friends with a number of strong, feminist women” she admired. Yet Laurie has decided that it is ordinary, decent, conservative men that are the problem – just as Hollywood celebrities, Democrats, and liberals say it is.

This Harvey Weinstein story is not just about Hollywood, it goes to the very heart of left-liberal politics from the top to the very bottom, and you can be sure he’s not the only one behaving like this. Other names will come out in due course, all with a similar history. This is why I think it will be too big to shove under the carpet.

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23 thoughts on “On Harvey Weinstein

  1. “Democrat politicians cosying up to him while showering him with accolades.”

    Confucius he say: ‘Man who is showered with accolades ends up showering with acolytes’.

  2. Nailed it Tim. In this country the celebrity kiddy fiddler dam burst and is still flooding a few years down the line. Prison sentences for famous names. I susepct and hope the same will happen stateside. It’s going to be ugly but fabulous – if you see what I mean. What’s the sentence tariff in California for multiple rape? Weinstein’s looking at a long stretch. Ha ha ha – couldn’t happen to a nicer sort.

  3. Good article. I just did a podcast where I spoke about Harvey Wallbanger and Meryl Streep and her awful Oscar speech. Her attempts to wipe herself clean on this issue on Twitter are outstanding. She’s retweeting anyone and everyone who even looks like they’re ready to support her. I can just imagine the delicious penthouse meltdowns that are happening as I type.

    From now on whenever these Hollywood morons get uppity all anyone has to do is bring up the Wallbanger.

  4. “The second reason is politics. For all the talk about Republican and right-wing misogyny, nine times out of ten any public figure caught abusing women in America will be a Democrat or one of their chief supporters. ”

    You start off on good points, but you seem to get carried away with statements like the above. That take all of two seconds to check and make me lose interest in your argument/rant. Its a bit of continuing theme in your posts, with the exception of ones related to your industry which IMO are your better ones by far.

    Just having a quick look at the wiki below.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States

    Only covers federally elected politicians. But a quick count from the 1970’s onwards gives me 24 democrats and 37 republicans being listed having being involved in a sexual scandal (proven or not) . By no means an exhaustive selection or one that covers quite your very broad populations you listed. But enough of one to say bullshit to your sweeping statements.

  5. Phil

    I don’t think that having an affair with a willing participant counts as misogyny. Tim’s point stands.

  6. From now on whenever these Hollywood morons get uppity all anyone has to do is bring up the Wallbanger.

    Exactly.

  7. But a quick count from the 1970’s onwards gives me 24 democrats and 37 republicans being listed having being involved in a sexual scandal (proven or not) .

    As Recusant says, sex scandals are not abuse.

    Its a bit of continuing theme in your posts, with the exception of ones related to your industry which IMO are your better ones by far.

    I haven’t written anything meaningful about the oil industry since about 2013; it’s a mystery that you still read my drivel. Frankly, it’s a mystery why anyone does, but here we are.

  8. When any leftie attacks Trump, I always point out that in the Democratic party you can drown a mistress by accident, get convicted and stay a senator.

    Oh come on, that cost him his chance to be President: let’s not pretend he didn’t suffer terribly!

  9. “you can drown a mistress by accident”: I think it’s pretty unlikely to have been an accident. If, with all the Kennedy power and money, Teddy admitted to an accident you should surely bet that the reality was a lot worse.

    Anyway, back to Tim’s topic. You are far too optimistic, Mr Newman. “They” control the police, the District Attorneys’ Offices, the legislature, and probably the bench. In California (and not only California) there is effectively no division of powers. The Democrat party controls everything.

  10. “you can drown a mistress by accident”: I think it’s pretty unlikely to have been an accident. If, with all the Kennedy power and money, Teddy admitted to an accident you should surely bet that the reality was a lot worse.

    He was shitfaced and he left her to die.

  11. I recalled how she allowed her rapist to get close to her because “he was a fun-loving, left-leaning chap who was friends with a number of strong, feminist women” she admired. Yet Laurie has decided that it is ordinary, decent, conservative men that are the problem – just as Hollywood celebrities, Democrats, and liberals say it is.

    Reminds me of that German socialist/green who was raped by an immigrant a year or two ago and still blamed white men.

  12. Is this a joke? “The dyke was breached when Ashley Judd spoke to the New York Times …”

  13. Contra our host’s idea that this will be big, I think it will blow over. Nothing will happen. None of Weinstein’s (former) fans and enablers will change their views (at most they will go a bit quiet for a while, until they can change the subject). Hollywood will use this as the opportunity to bravely make films about sexual abuse in which they bravely depict conservative/ traditionalist men as abusers. These films will be highly praised as topical and (of course) brave. It is a matter of days, if not hours, before someone writes an article explaining that “the Weinstein scandal is all the more reason why we must redouble our resistance to the misogynistic regime of Trump” which will get retweeted a million times. We have seen it all before.

  14. I think the question is why now, and why was it the NYT that took down this Godfather at the top of the power structure?

    Did he flash himself to the editors niece or disrespect another made man, there has to be a reason like this as only a similar Godfather can take down another one and Weinstein knows that.

    Weinstein himself reckons that the reason was that “a right wing conspiracy was out to get me” and if he is right then the NYT only published the story because it was going to come out anyway. Remember Bill Clinton, he said that the Monica story was a right win conspiracy as well. The right are definitely foaming at the mouth alright about this “breaking “story.

    So if his claim is accurate then what was it that he done to earn their anger, could it have been payback for him producing the controversial anti-Semitic movie “Miral”. We may never find out but I would say that it had nothing to do with his bad habits with young actresses and it was something else about this wayward Don that earned him a whacking. My view is that he was most probably right in what he said was the reason and that it was definitely a take down.

    Sorry Harvey its not personal its just business.

    And on Hollywood, McCarthy was on the money way back in the day shame they got him as well.

  15. “I don’t know why Judd finally broke ranks and spoke to the NYT,” Judd had a couple of good points, but gravity has been winning for a few years… Hmm now how could an actress that most people have forgotten about get a few parts?

    There is a long list of actresses that had a not ‘just’ pretty face but little talent, that appeared in a few films and then disappeared from the screen. Well how do you get a part once you have slept with all the sleazy producers at least once?

    “Firstly, nobody gives a shit about one another in these circles” and what is worse they are hypocrites, an older actress will take off her clothes for an edgy film, showing off her well toned / plastic body. She will then do an interview explaining how brave she is, and how she really got into the part, and how her nakedness was an vital scene in the film. She may also say as at least one french actress, that she regretted appearing topless in a film when she was younger. She will of course not mention that her latest part sans clothes, could be used to compel young actresses to do things “they are not comfortable with”.

    News that will not be printed in tomorrows newspapers, “… ‘Actress’ willingly sleeps with producer to gain part”.

  16. re: Stephen K.
    This have claimed scalp #2 Ben Affleck, whose own brother have his very own public sex scandal with another actress. Ben Affleck have to publically acknowledge (after video proof shows up) that he grab an underaged actress’s boob during a MTV event.

  17. Well written Tim. However, the reality of Hollywood sex abuse is much worse. There are scandals other than Weinstein which have never surfaced because, well, I’m not sure apart from people not wanting to come forward in case they never get to work in that glittering sewer again.

    This 2012 report in the LA Times casts a brief glimmer of light upon the extent of child sex abuse. And you can safely bet that there are select parties where much worse goes on in full view of such luminaries as Streep, who choose not to see for the sake of their well paid careers.

  18. As a woman, I’m supposed to be sickened and revolted by Weinstein.

    Why then am I far, far more sickened and revolted by the spectacle of the circus of condemnation and blatant hypocrisy instead?

  19. @JuliaM: “the spectacle of the circus of condemnation and blatant hypocrisy” has gotten more grotesque than most recent outbursts of supposedly righteous anger. Suddenly, everybody’s eyes have opened and the iniquity of Weinstein’s ways has been exposed. A miracle – but not without a comic side. Weinstein ejaculated into a plant pot in the kitchen of Cafe Socialista, a Castro-themed eatery in which he had invested and which was on the brink of closure for a lack of business.

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