Harvey Weinstein & Hollywood’s Complicity

So. This is a difficult subject to broach because of its sheer scope. Unless you’ve been hibernating under the proverbial rock, you know now that Harvey Weinstein has been accused of rape, sexual misconduct, and various kinds of inappropriate behaviour that are mind-boggling in their number. Harvey Weinstein is (was?) a producer and film studio executive who co-founded Miramax, which produced several popular indies, including Pulp Fiction, Clerks, and The Crying Game, and 24th-annual-producers-guild-pga-awards-backstage-roamiwon an Oscar for producing Shakespeare in Love. He was recently ousted from his own company because of these accusations, though it should be said that it was likely a form or self-protection for the company rather than any sense of moral obligation. Indeed, many people at said company will have had knowledge of, and helped cover up, the very reprehensible behaviour that got him ousted in the first place.

We know why women stay silent – it’s the same reason the abuse took place in the first part. Men in positions of power take advantage. Weinstein is (was) a king of Hollywood. He did indeed make and break careers. To reject him is to risk your career, your whole life ahead of you. But his power continues to assert itself long after you’ve left the room. It’s something that has clearly haunted dozens if not hundreds if not thousands of women for decades, and now, because of a few brave women speaking up, it’s all come tumbling out. But Weinstein, who clearly has an M.O. as you’ll see below, cannot have done what he did without people knowing. People as in the many, many male colleagues who have attended the same meetings and events. Weinstein, for example, is responsible for the breakout success of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. He greenlit Good Will Hunting and they have remained loyal friends of his. So you know what? Hollywood’s women are calling them out.

Ben Affleck came forward to condemn him (eventually), only the second man in Hollywood to do so (George Clooney was the first). Affleck’s statement:

I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his position of power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate many women over decades. The additional allegations of assault that I read this morning made me sick…We need to do better at protecting our sisters, friends, co-workers and daughters.

BUT a) he was then reminded of his own groping incident, for which he has since apologized; and b) Rose McGowan has reminded him that when it happened to her (when they were costarring in Phantoms), he said “Goddamnit! I told him to stop doing that!” Which, you know, kind of sounds like he knew about prior incidents on top of her own. And can I just say: stop branding us as sisters and daughters. We’re human beings and we deserve to not be sexually abused regardless of our relationship to you. You shouldn’t have to be fond of or related to someone before you don’t want to see them get raped.

But Affleck’s not the only one under fire: both Matt Damon and Russell Crowe have been accused of killing one journalist’s report of these incidents as far back as 2004. Damon claims he did call the reporter but didn’t know anything about sex-related accusations in the article, and that may be true, but it’s also sort of damning that he didn’t have anything to say about this until it was to clear his own good name. Just how many men in Hollywood have been complicit with their silence?

 

Trigger Alert: I’m including all the victims we know about so far, and the crimes that were perpetrated against them. These are just the ones we know about, and in cases of sexual abuse, that’s usually the tip of ice berg, which is disconcerting since we’ve already uncovered a land slide. Harvey Weinstein is a bad dude that Hollywood’s been covering for for far too long. And he’s not the only one.

 

Gwyneth Paltrow: recently confessed to the New York Times that Weinstein touched rs_600x600-171010105954-600.Harvey-Weinstein-Brad-Pitt-JR-101017her and suggested having joint massages in the bedroom shortly before filming Emma. She said she told her then boyfriend Brad Pitt about the incident and he confronted Weinstein [Brad Pitt has confirmed].

Angelina Jolie: Jolie told the Times she had to turn down advances from Weinstein in 1998 and chose never to work with him again, after making Playing By Heart. She has been warning other women about him ever since.

Louisette Geiss:  Called to a late night meeting with Weinstein in 2008, he emerged in a bathrobe and told her he would green light her script if she watched him masturbate. “He returned [from the bathroom] in a robe with the front open, buck-naked. He told me to keep talking about my film and that he was going to get into his hot tub which was in the room adjacent to his office, steps away. I kept talking as he got into the hot tub. When I finished my pitch, he asked me to watch him masturbate. I told him I was leaving. He quickly got out of the hot tub. As I went to get my purse to leave, he grabbed my forearm and pulled me to his bathroom and pleaded with me to watch him masturbate. My heart was racing and I was very scared.”

Judith Godreche: Weinstein tried to massage her and pull off her sweater after asking her up to his Cannes suite in 1996.

Dawn Dunning: Called to his hotel in 2003, Weinstein presented her with three scripts for his next three movies which he would let her star in, if she had a three-way with him. 

Tomi-Ann Roberts: Weinstein met her when she was waitressing as a college junior in 1984 and told her to meet him at his home. When she arrived he was naked in the bath and told her she would give a better audition if she was nude. 

Rosanna Arquette:  Claims her career suffered after she rejected Weinstein’s advances in the early 1990s – he tried to put her hand on his erect penis during a meeting.

Asia Argento: Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her when she was 21. “He terrified me, and he was big. It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.” She documented the alleged attack in her 2000 film Scarlet Diva.

Katherine Kendall: Weinstein changed into a bathrobe and told her to massage him. When she resisted he returned naked and chased her.

Lucia Evans: Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 at a ‘casting meeting’ in a Miramax office in Manhattan. 

Mira Sorvino: Weinstein tried to massage her in a hotel room at TIFF in 1995. He then went to her home in the middle of the night but she called a male friend to protect her. She claims turning him down adversely affected her career.

Rose McGowan: She’s been talking about being raped by a studio head for years, always keeping his identity secret. Now we know she sued him after he assaulted her in 1997 at Sundance. He paid her off, like he did many others, and she had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to close the suit.

Ashley Judd: During the filming of Kiss The Girls, Weinstein repeatedly asked her to watch him shower. She says “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”

Emma De Caunes: Weinstein offered to show her a script, and asked her up to his hotel room, where he began to take a shower. He emerged naked and erect, asking her to lay down with him on the bed and telling her that many others had done so before. ‘I was very petrified,’ said de Caunes. ‘But I didn’t want to show him that I was petrified, because I could feel that the more I was freaking out, the more he was excited.’

Lauren O’Connor: A former employee of The Weinstein Company, she told executives there in 2015 of the ‘toxic environment for women at this company’ after one of her colleagues told her that Weinstein had pressured her into massaging him while he was naked.

Cara Delevingne:  Weinstein brought up sexual subjects during more than one business meeting and also tried to get Delevingne to kiss a woman in front of him.

Ambra Battilana: In March 2015 Weinstein asked if her breasts were real before grabbing them and putting his hands up her skirt during a meeting. She reported the alleged incident to police, but they did not press charges. Weinstein later paid her off.

Jessica Barth: Pressured her repeatedly to give him a naked massages from 2011 onwards.

Laura Madden: An ex-employee, Weinstein had asked her to give him massages from 1991 onwards. “It was so manipulative.”

Emily Nestor: Temping for the Weinstein Company for just one day in 2014, Weinstein approached her and offered to boost her career in exchange for sex.

Zelda Perkins: An assistant of Weinstein’s, she confronted Weinstein after she and ‘several’ others were harassed and later settled out of court. 

Elizabeth Karlsen: The Oscar-nominated producer of Carol and The Crying Game, told of an incident dating back almost 30 years where an unnamed young female executive who had worked at Miramax with Weinstein had found him naked in her bedroom one night. 

 

Liza Campbell: Weinstein summoned her to his hotel room and told her to get in the bath with him.

Lea Seydoux: “We were talking on the sofa when he suddenly jumped on me and tried to kiss me. I had to defend myself. He’s big and fat, so I had to be forceful to resist him. I left his room, thoroughly disgusted. I wasn’t afraid of him, though. Because I knew what kind of man he was all along.”

Lauren Sivan: Weinstein trapped her in a closed restaurant and masturbated in front of her to completion in 2007.

Jessica Hynes: She was asked to audition for Weinstein when she was 19 – in a bikini. When she refused she lost the job.

Romola Garai: Was already hired for a part in Atonement when Weinstein scheduled yet another work meeting in his hotel room and showed up to it in his bathrobe. He asked for another audition so she could be “personally approved by him.”

Unnamed assistant: Weinstein behaved inappropriately toward a woman employed as his assistant in 1990; the case settled out of court.

Another unnamed assistant: In 2015, Weinstein reportedly pressured another assistant into giving him a naked massage in the Peninsula Hotel, where he is also said to have pressured Barth.

Unnamed Miramax employee: At one point in the early 1990s, a young woman is alleged to have suddenly left the company after an encounter with Weinstein. Also settled out of court.

Unnamed woman: Was summoned to his hotel and raped.

 

The truth is, there are plenty more Harvey Weinsteins in Hollywood (and let’s face it- elsewhere, everywhere). Hollywood is built on sexism. It routinely treats women as inferior to men. It exploits the very young, ignores the not so young, denies female directors work, and treats its female audience like trash. Like we don’t exist, like we don’t buy movie tickets, like our stories aren’t worth telling. It’s a boy’s club that has gone on far too long. You’ve heard of the casting couch? Now think about what kind of sick euphemism that really is. And if you’ve read all this and are still wondering why these women didn’t come forward sooner – yeah, you’re part of the problem.

 

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44 thoughts on “Harvey Weinstein & Hollywood’s Complicity

  1. ninvoid99

    When I heard about this, I wasn’t exactly surprised considering that I always thought Weinstein was an asshole and a bully. This just adds so many reasons why I think he’s a scumbag. Yet, I’m more surprised in how many of them he had harassed. I was shocked about what happened to Terry Crews as I felt disgusted that someone like him could be harassed and couldn’t do anything about it. A few hours ago, I saw this video from Evan Rachel Wood about all of this and her own experiences in being sexually assaulted but she also reveals why she won’t name the person who did that to her. I don’t blame her for being afraid:

    Liked by 6 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, we have to let the victims choose their own paths.
      But there were plenty of people who were not victims who knew what was going on.
      Seth McFarlane joked about it at the Oscars in 2013.
      His company knew about payoffs for at least the past two years.
      Jessica Chastain said ” I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an environment for it to happen again.”

      Harvey Weinstein was protected because he made a lot of money. That’s what Hollywood does.

      Liked by 6 people

      Reply
  2. sophiarileykobacker

    “Hollywood is built on sexism. It routinely treats women as inferior to men. It exploits the very young, ignores the not so young, denies female directors work, and treats its female audience like trash. Like we don’t exist, like we don’t buy movie tickets, like our stories aren’t worth telling.” Thank you for this concise summary of the truth, and thank you for speaking out.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Culturally, politically, it’s a tough time. Weinstein’s president says it’s okay to sexually abuse women, that it’s just another perk of being a powerful man. So the rest of us have to push back.

      Liked by 5 people

      Reply
  3. By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff

    I hope you know how much I love your blog and your posts Jay. That said, I think this is one of your most brilliant! I absolutely agree with EVERYTHING you’ve said here. There are just two things I want to mention. First, did you read the article written by Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker. That’s the one where 8 women have come forward and accused Weinstein of rape. It’s heartbreaking but a must read. Second, in addition to the complicity of Hollywood, there are also those in the media who are equally to blame. For example, there’s the instance of one actresses named being smeared by the New York Post after Weinstein called them. And what about NBC? Back in 2015, Ronan Farrow was working exclusively for them when he brought them the story. Yes, at that point the women interviewed were insistent on maintaining anonymity, to he also had the tape of Weinstein with that model. Instead of telling Farrow to keep working it, they completely shut him down. I have a feeling this is just the beginning. The whole thing reminds me of a house of cards ready to come tumbling down.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, exactly – I read about a journalist who was working on a piece about him as early as 1991, but since Miramax was such a big piece of their advertising, not only was the story killed, but Weinstein invited to write op-eds, making this journalist effectively his editor.
      There have been lots of payoffs and cover ups, and not just to victims.
      And this of course will always go back to how we treat the victims of sexual abuse – like they’re the ones on trial. Their word has always been treated as less than.

      Liked by 4 people

      Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Some have called this the beginning of the end, and I hope that’s true.
      I believe that it must change but change is slow. We need more women in positions of power. But we also need the good men to come forward and stop effectively enabling this stuff to go on. There’s been too much protectionism.

      Last year at the Oscars, many winners used their platform to point the finger at Trump. Will they do the same now that their own industry is under fire?

      And is Weinstein’s money sufficient to be forgiven, his transgressions forgotten? Money pays – just ask Mel Gibson.

      And though we’ve heard about lots of monetary settlements, will any of this go to court? Rich white men get off too lightly as it is, but so far no one’s even talking police proceedings.

      Liked by 4 people

      Reply
      1. fragglerocking

        Well we shall see, but it seems ‘the casting couch’ is such an entrenched institution in Hollywood. As you say, it needs more women in positions of power. If Weinstein gets away with it, I’ll not hold out much hope for change anytime soon.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Mr. Bobinsky

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    This is a tough story – tough not for the obvious reasons like what Weinstein did (and many similar men in his position) – but because of multiple levels of hypocricy here from, probably, almost all sides. Jay managed to express various points of view without being hysteric – like many did.

    Liked by 3 people

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  5. Mr. Bobinsky

    This is brilliant and must be shared. I’ve been following this topic, and it smells really bad, especially when you read the comments of other people on various places on the web.

    Kate Winslet publicly criticized Weinstein and just because of that many criticized her (!) for staying silent for so long, like she is just trying to get away with the fact that all these things were well known. How can one react to this? I don’t know. And she is not the only one who reacted to it in this way.

    There is absolutely zero doubt about Weinstein and how stuff like this must be treated. I, as a man, am happy that people discuss it publicly now.

    From the other point of view, there is a lot of hypocrisy in all this topic which I don’t know what to think about. Take Cara Delevingne. She was already successful as a model. She is not an actress, at least, not in first place. She comes from a wealthy family and know LOTS of influential people. I specifically searched if she mentioned about Weinstein before all this stuff started. Zero. Nothing. Why was she silent? Maybe I didn’t search well? Maybe. But now she is posting stuff on Instagram that she is not afraid. If she did speak out before, maybe it would have helped somebody. But she didn’t. It is my assumption, but it’s pretty sure many will try to jump now on this ship of accusations.

    It is obvious who is guilty and I am not trying to say something controversial. But there’s more that just 1 person guilty, and this more is the system. And if – if! – I am right about people like Cara Delevingne – it’s also these people too who contribute to this rotten system.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Yes, it’s interesting to hear how many women warned each other about him quietly. But of course, without direct accusations, to do so publicly would be defamation. What a strange world we live in when we worry more about protecting the Harvey Weinsteins, his “good” name, which was never that good to begin with. (I previously wrote about his bullying ways here: https://assholeswatchingmovies.com/2017/02/07/how-to-buy-an-oscar/ )

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
  6. Brittani

    This story gets worse and worse every day. I’m glad he’s been fired, but jesus all these women he harassed. It makes me want to cry.

    Great piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      He’s been fired, which is about the least a company can do, especially one that’s been hiding his crimes for years. All this is for his is early retirement, his millions will cushion the blow. I hope he gets dragged to court.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  7. raistlin0903

    It’s incredibly sad to me when things like this happen. And it is also shocking that it gets allowed to happen. Look at Bill Cosby…amazing how long that had been going on without anyone ever knowing about it. I’m just sad for all the women that have been put into these positions. The only thing I hope that will happen is that these men get their just rewards 😊

    Liked by 2 people

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  8. Carolee Croft

    So sad that this kind of thing was considered a normal part of the industry just a couple of decades ago. It gives me some hope for the future that our society has matured enough that these women are not afraid to speak up and feel like they will be supported and heard.
    Good call on the ‘daughters and ‘sisters’ comment. So patronizing!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Thanks, I’m glad I’m not the only one to feel skeeved out by that. It’s funny how some men need to establish that link to themselves before it seems important. And you know, I know a lot of good, feminist men of whom that is not true at all, so it sucks that these few often speak the loudest, as if they speak for everyone.

      Liked by 3 people

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  9. calensariel

    Appreciated this post. I was only getting bits and pieces of things. But I will say, I’ve come to the conclusion that this whole country (USA) IS nothing but a boys club. Women are to be subservient the same way slaves were. The MO of the “boys” is just different. The older I get the more I look back and see how that attitude — even in my own marriage which is pretty damn good — affected almost every decision I’ve made. It’s quite a rude awakening. Hope those who read your post, Jay, are enlightened!

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      You’re right, that’s the scary thing. The president himself seems to think it’s totally fine to treat women this way, so it absolutely goes all the way to the top.
      I think and hope things are changing. We’ve got more male feminists and strong women and hopefully a culture who is willing to protect the people who speak out. We need to create a safer space for victims’ voices.

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply
  10. Carrie Rubin

    “You shouldn’t have to be fond of or related to someone before you don’t want to see them get raped.” Yes, so true. Men speaking out would make a huge difference in the environment where harassment’s occurring. Or just speaking out in general. Great article.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply
  11. Mark Walker

    What an absolutely vile fuck of a man. Do you know, I’ve always thought he looked dodgy. I remember joking with friends way back in the 90’s when I seen him photographed with stars at Oscar ceremonies. I remember wondering who brought the fucking the gangster. I thought he was a bodyguard initially. Anyway, I hope he falls hard for this.

    Liked by 3 people

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  12. J.

    There’s not much to add to what’s already been said, but I honestly wasn’t surprised when I started reading this stuff. He always seemed like a bit of a bullish bastard, but turns out he’s a horrible piece of shit. Hopefully his downfall will have a bigger impact on others who are pulling that kinda shit.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  13. badblokebob

    Like most people I’ve been following this story as it’s come out, seemingly with new stories every day. They’re each individually shocking, of course, but when you compile them all together like this… Jesus!

    Hearing these stories, off the back of the Devin Faraci and Harry Knowles ones, not to mention the sundry other tales of what goes on at college parties, etc, I can’t help but feel this is an American cultural problem on the level of gun violence. Not that this stuff doesn’t happen elsewhere, of course, but I feel like we’re not that bad in other countries, are we? But then, I’m male, so maybe I’m one of those people that thinks all is well while there’s terrible stuff going on…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  14. Liam

    Great write up! And Jesus Christ, that is some list. I agree with everything you’ve said, there’s not much else to say. He’s finished now and hopefully he’ll stay buried.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  15. The Inner Circle

    Stunning that so much abuse happened and yet as you pointed out,no one said anything at the agency or management level. No casting directors said nothing. His career and life is over as it should be but those who kept quiet are just as guilty as Harvey is.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  16. laura kilty

    Thank you Jay! The whole dialogue on this has been and continues to be infuriating- so many articles out there putting spotlight and blame anywhere but on the men who are assaulting women. And if I see one more tweet or worse, “think piece”, where some dude is ‘overcome with sadness/horrified’ by all this because he realises he is related to a female… ARGHHHHHH. I am way too angry and way too triggered to be talking on it because of the waves of feelings and memories that have been brought up for me so I really appreciate you using your voice so eloquently. Thank you for writing this and for HOW you wrote this.

    Liked by 1 person

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  17. Christopher

    Thank you for such a powerful statement.
    I wish I could say this was shocking, and I wish even more that this would be the end, but I don’t think we’re even close to that. At least the stories are coming out, and at least there are now more women rising to higher levels in the film industry. Hollywood may be built on sexism but that doesn’t mean it has to stay part of it.
    Several years ago I read Laurie Stone’s Laughing In The Dark, a collection of pieces she wrote about standup comedy. She criticized Bill Cosby for joking about raping his wife in 1995. And, as you pointed out in the comments here, Seth MacFarlane joked about Weinstein’s behavior during the 2013 Oscars.
    Men need to stop treating the harassment of women as a joke. And those of us who have never found it funny, who are sickened when we think about how long it’s been tolerated, need to speak up.

    Like

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  18. Christy B

    Abuse behind closed doors… and I wonder about all of those women who aren’t in Hollywood so they don’t have a platform like this in which to speak up against the abusers… which aren’t always men, by the way. A sobering read about a topic that’s been in the news all week. It’s going into my blog roundup for next Friday.

    Like

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  19. elisabethm

    This behaviour towards women has to stop! And we, women, have to speak up about it more often. We all have our stories, ranging from small incidents to bigger ones and that should not be normal or acceptable.
    They have opened a can of worms with the Harvey Weinstein case, and I really hope that this will contribute to making the world a better place for women. Although I’m afraid that under the current American government, with a president who also grabs women by their pussy, mr Weinstein will get away with it. As you say, they only fired him, because they knew what was coming and they wanted to save face. Many people will say they didn’t know, because they want to save their careers. And still many, many people will think that he just tried to seduce them or something.
    Thanks for sharing, together we stand strong!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Jay Post author

      Well thanks for listening! It is fucked up, and every time I hear someone agree with that, I feel a tiny bit better about the world.

      Like

      Reply
  20. Lloyd Marken

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I know things get covered up all the time, injustices don’t go righted all the time but the scale of this and how long it went on for is just heartbreaking. Usually I’d say innocent until proven guilty but its clear with so many coming forward that this man is guilty of much. Men are sexually abused and harassed too and sometimes not by other men but atleast one in 5 if not 1 in 4 women will be molested during their lifetime. I don’t know how many men. To take what is just the greatest activity one can enjoy in this world and pervert it is just disgraceful. But of course this isn’t about sex this is about power, power of others and abuse of them and may justice be served.

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