If you’re paying attention to the news you will know that the new poster boy for ‘Men Behaving Inappropriately’ in their contact with women is Harvey Weinstein. The disgraced Hollywood mogul who has an Oscar on his mantle is emerging as a guy who couldn’t take NO for an answer, and shamelessly abused his power over women in the TV and movie business.
Several prominent actors, including Meryl Streep, mentioned Harvey in their thank you speeches at the Oscars. Now, big names on both coasts are saying they are “shocked and appalled” by the stories that are coming out. “We had no idea” they’re saying, and that might even be true in one or two cases. When you put the saga of Harvey Weinstein into historical context, none of it should be seen as surprising.
Make no mistake, all such behaviour should be condemned, and men like Harvey should be put on a new blacklist of some kind, but don’t hold your breath. Most of the men who have dominated the entertainment industry since the earliest days have used their power to abuse women in one way or another. The ‘casting couch’ has been part of the movie business since the silent era.
The major difference in 2017 is social media which makes it easier for the victims to finally come forward and tell their stories. It’s not much different throughout society as a whole including politics. Donald Trump says he’s not surprised by any of the Harvey stories. The President says he knows him well. Really?
We can’t help but wonder if the story will ever change. The directors of Harvey’s company, including his younger brother Bob Weinstein, had to have known what was going on, but they ‘enabled’ it to continue. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid out to his female victims in ‘hush money’, to keep their mouths shut, and to deal with the trauma of it all on their own.
Shame on Harvey, and all others like him.
I’m Roger Currie