Six Brutal Lessons From the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

October 14th, 2017 12:15 PM

Every day we learn new, more shocking, revelations about the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Here’s just two from the last 24 hours:

Another woman shares an ugly story of how Weinstein sexually harassed her.

An A-lister admits she knew Weinstein’s tendencies … and did nothing. (“the stories were everywhere…”)

The film titan and famed Democratic bundler is no longer head of his own movie studio. And his list of alleged crimes is growing. So, too, is the stain the scandal is leaving on not just his fallen empire. Much of Hollywood is either complicit in his behavior or far too eager to sweep it under the cultural rug.

Are they afraid to attack a progressive kingpin? Or are other forces at play?

They Knew. They All Knew.

Meryl Streep’s calculated response to the scandal boils down to one confession. She didn’t know. Yet Miss Sloane star Jessica Chastain, a relative newbie to the film industry compared to Streep, says just the opposite. Everyone knew.

Chastain’s confession cast Streep’s mea culpa in a new, unflattering light.

That A-list Conscience Hit an Iceberg

Stars continue to lecture us on a near daily basis. They tell us how to vote, the best ways to interpret the Second Amendment and how to oversee our immigration laws. Yet they can’t keep their own house in order when it comes to sexual harassment.

America is watching. They see what’s going on and how the people who claim to care so much didn’t act when their most vulnerable members needed them. Most stars also refused to even address the subject on the record. Others, like George Clooney, took days to do so.

That’s not brave. It’s cowardly.

Kristen Bell recently came to her colleagues’ defense on their political activism. Now is a pretty good time to speak up, no?

The Late Night Team Is Even Worse Than We Thought

Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel all pounce on the latest headlines. Yet they stayed silent last week as the Weinstein scandal broke. The Daily Beast, a reliably liberal outfit, chastized them for their silence.

Finally they weighed in on the subject this week, although Kimmel and Colbert used the scandal to attack both the former movie mogul and President Donald Trump.

Speaking truth to power doesn’t involved being shamed into action. That’s precisely why these Late Night comics finally did the right thing. The so-called moral consciences took a knee at a lousy time.

The Press Is Worse Than We Thought

Bravo to The New York Times for bringing this whole mess to light. Only the paper sniffed around the story years ago and did … nothing. So says Sharon Waxman, now the head of The former New York Times reporter says she worked on a huge Weinstein story in 2004 along similarly slimely lines. She dug up some dirt before her editors killed the story.

Why did it get spiked? Could it be because Weinstein himself visited the news room? Or movie stars like Matt Damon and Russell Crowe put pressure on the paper to disavow the story?

That’s what Waxman alleges.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

Only she doesn’t come off well here, either. Why didn’t she pursue the story after founding her own entertainment news site? Her rationale doesn’t make much sense.

If “everyone knew” then why didn’t Variety, or or The Hollywood Reporter sniff the story out before now?

Saturday Night Live Is Worse Than We Thought

Lorne Michaels didn’t dress up like Marie Antoinette for last weekend’s ritualistic show after party. He might as well have, though. A Daily Mail reporter caught him exiting the party and asked why SNL didn’t even mention Weinstein’s scandal a few hours earlier.

His response? “It’s a New York thing.”

We also heard conflicting reports that the show DID have a Weinstein joke in the show but didn’t run with it.

SNL long ago ditched its balanced political approach. The show mourned the end of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and sang a tribute to the outgoing President Barack Obama.

Could the show really avoid the Weinstein scandal though, even given his deep Democrat ties? Apparently so.

There’s More Weinsteins Out There

Can anyone reasonably look at Weinstein’s actions, and the industry’s reaction to them, and say with confidence he was a lone wolf? Chances are his indefensible behavior is happening right now with other producers, directors or stars.

Someone, somewhere knows it’s happening but isn’t saying a word.

[Cross-posted from Hollywood in Toto.]