A new scandal involving a corpulent, egomaniacal, Oscar-winning film producer has brought the self-serving hypocrisy of liberal Hollywood elites into sharp focus as the treatment in the media this man has been accorded — despite the fact that he’s committed real crimes, possibly including rape — is far less onerous than the scorn Tinseltown has heaped upon the president of the United States, Donald Trump.
The man in question is former Weinstein Company co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, who’s under investigation in both New York and London after a story alleging sexual harassment of some of the most well-known actresses in the film industry and many of his female employees was published in The New York Times.
On October 5, the first Times bombshell dropped that Weinstein had assaulted Ambra Gutierrez, a 22-year-old Filipina-Italian model who had met with Weinstein at the producer’s offices in Tribeca in New York City. Gutierrez alleged that Weinstein had forced his hand up her skirt and groped her breast, and she had gone to police, who later had Gutierrez return to Weinstein’s business to make a surreptitious audio recording, in which Weinstein admitted the actions.
The article in the Times further detailed allegations made in an internal Weinstein Company memo by Lauren O’Connor, a longtime company employee who alerted the firm’s executives to Weinstein’s behavior in 2015 and had received a settlement from the company in exchange for withdrawing her complaints.
In fact, the article in the Times detailed a number of such settlements, and subsequent coverage in the Times made it known that not only was the upper management of Weinstein’s business aware of these settlements, at least some of them knew about the scoundrel’s boorish and criminal behavior for years, if not decades.
Among the numerous actresses who made accusations against Weinstein were Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Mira Sorvino, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. Then 20-year-old Judd claimed that Weinstein had invited her up to his hotel room in Beverly Hills, a story that was disturbingly similar to many claims made by Weinstein’s employees and assistants who talked to the Times about these issues.
Judd said that Weinstein appeared in his bathrobe and asked if she could give him a massage or watch him shower. Judd says her thoughts were simply, “How do I get out of this room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?”
Actress McGowan also had a hotel room close-encounter with Weinstein that she now claims involved rape at the Sundance Film Festival. She made it known that she’d received a confidential settlement of $100,000 after the incident occurred.
Following the publishing of these accounts, other actresses came to talk publicly and discuss their complaints against Weinstein. Paltrow stated that the producer ordered her to give him a massage in his hotel room when she was just 22 [she refused and fled]. Jolie said, “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth and as a result chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did.”
A number of Weinstein’s female employees claimed they were used to “groom” and debrief actresses who Weinstein said he was considering for roles in his movies, which range from the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love to Gangs of New York to The English Patient. Weinstein’s track record as a producer in Hollywood — first at Miramax, a firm he co-founded with his brother Bob and later sold to the Walt Disney Company, and later, at the Weinstein Company — is nearly unrivaled in terms of its financial success and the number of awards the producer has garnered for hit films that have won Oscars, Golden Globes and numerous other accolades.
Many of the actresses sent to Weinstein were fearful of his power in Hollywood and felt that if they did not comply with his requests they could be “blacklisted” from the film business, or at least denied roles in the potentially lucrative and highly prominent mega-projects Weinstein controlled.
Many kept their accusations to themselves or discussed them with other actresses and Weinstein company employees. The fact of the matter is that Weinstein’s behavior was more or less an open secret in Hollywood, yet his coworkers and the movie studios he dealt with turned a blind eye toward his self-admittedly predatory habits. The fact that so many people knew what was going on, yet did not warn the women, the media or the authorities, speaks volumes about the state of complicity and secrecy in Hollywood.
Even worse, Weinstein was one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party. He organized galas and dinners for presidential candidates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and served as a “bundler” for other rich Hollywood donors.
In this way, he became indispensable to people like Clinton and Obama, and the many photographs of them together with their arms embracing one another will attest to this. Top Democrats simply couldn’t raise the kind of money they did on the West Coast without Weinstein, and his show-business connections up until most recently proved invaluable for endorsements, PSAs and cameo appearances of the Hollywood glitterati in political advertising.
Since the Weinstein scandal broke, some news outlets like the Times have been aggressively covering it, while others have given it scant attention. Late-night comics, who have told endless jokes about President Trump, have shied away from making jokes about Weinstein, possibly because they fear his connections and influence in his industry, but also because Weinstein’s political ties are embarrassing for the Leftist slant that these hosts’ shticks usually incorporate. Saturday Night Live, which was rumored to have scripted an entire sketch based on Weinstein’s misbehavior, allegedly killed it at the last minute, likely for the same reason.
Liberal globalist billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Entertainment has also not been immune from the fallout of the Weinstein case. Amazon Entertainment chief Roy Price has been given a leave of absence by the company in the wake of charges that he ignored actress Rose McGowan’s complaints detailed above when inking deals with the Weinstein Company. But also, Price himself has now been accused of sexual harassment by a producer of the series “The Man in the High Castle.”
Of course, one can contrast these reactions to the seemingly never-ending outcry after a 2005 tape of Donald Trump was released wherein Trump was captured on a tour bus belonging to the tabloid television show Access Hollywood, spouting locker room talk with the program’s host Billy Bush (the nephew of former President George H. W. Bush).
In the wake of that incident — in which Trump joked about, but did not actually go through with, grabbing specific body parts of women — the media lit up like a Christmas Tree at New York’s Rockefeller Center. Headlines blared, and Saturday Night Live is still running cartoonish sketches of a sexist, chauvinist and misogynistic Trump.
One has to ask which is worse — imaginative boasts that were likely made to impress only one person, or actual, repulsive, criminal behavior — i.e., rape — that was reported to police and may result in jail time for the perpetrator?
Since the news about Weinstein broke, the producer’s fashion designer wife Georgina Chapman has left him, and the FBI has opened its own investigation into Weinstein, out of fear that the producer might try to “pull a Polanski.” This is a reference to the Polish film director Roman Polanski, who fled the United States in 1977, to get away from charges that he raped Samantha Geimer, a then-13-year-old.
Polanski fled to France, where he’s been safe from extradition to the United States ever since; perhaps unsurprisingly, Weinstein has not only defended Polanski — he’s distributed a film about the director’s case and even questioned whether Polanski committed a crime at all [a quote from an article Weinstein wrote about the famous director is, “I remember the incredible love and affection that people have for him”].
Here’s hoping that Weinstein will be treated with a little less caution by the law in the states where his misdeeds occurred. And in the meantime, all of the money that the Democratic Party and specific candidates like Hillary Clinton received via Weinstein ought to be returned, and not simply given to Democratic-aligned charities — as some has been since the scandal was revealed.
That Trump is not Weinstein is obvious. But when will the media get the message?