Producer Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace handed Hollywood a golden opportunity.
Stars who preferred virtue signaling to hard work could now do something powerful, and necessary, for the culture.
Bring other Harvey Weinsteins to justice. And, as we learned in the weeks following Weinstein’s downfall, Hollywood is chock full of unsavory types.
And, sadly, so is the culture at large.
That’s why Time’s Up, which officially shuttered days ago, began in the first place. The nonprofit, sparked by lurid accusations against Weinstein, vowed to prevent other predators from getting away with their crimes. And, hopefully, send a message to men eager to prey on the fairer sex.
Actresses like Kerry Washington, Ashley Judd and Reese Witherspoon rallied to a cause that spread far beyond Tinsel Town. They helped pour millions into the startup, but some went a step further.
Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Laura Dern, Alyssa Milano, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson, Jessica Chastain and Tessa Thompson joined its advisory board, eager to take a more hands-on approach to the group’s work.
Except those famous folks stood down when it mattered most.
Time’s Up clammed up when Tara Reade accused then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in 2020 of sexually assaulting her decades earlier. Reade offered far more details of the alleged attack than other infamous accusers, but Time’s Up refused to rally to her cause.
The group also stayed low when two black women accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.
They weren’t alone, though.
Not only did Hollywood, Inc. ignore both high-profile cases Time’s Up celebrity members did nothing behind the scenes to make the group step in on the accusers’ behalf.
Why? It’s obvious.
Biden and Fairfax are Democrats. Time’s Up repeatedly took public stands against President Donald Trump, a Republican. The organization also demanded Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh step down in 2018 due to flimsy allegations against his character.
Time’s Up, in just a short time, became another wing of the Democratic Party. Sexual abusers are Republicans, Democrats and independents. Their victims also span the political spectrum.
By turning the group into a partisan outfit, the Time’s Up team damaged its own cause. That lead to the betrayal that sunk it, once and for all.
The group’s leadership initially offered a tepid statement on sexual accusations leveled at Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019. Its leaders later collaborated with the New York Democrat on ways to defend him against those charges.
It’s hard to script a more shocking betrayal of the group’s mission.
This reporter reached out to several Time’s Up celebrities to get their take on the reversal. Were they outraged by the group’s ties to Cuomo? Had they done what they could behind the scenes to fight that partnership?
None responded to my queries.
Hollywood stars likely knew about Weinstein’s predatory behavior for decades but stayed silent. Years later, starlets refused to hold Time’s Up accountable for an unacceptable mission creep.
The Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund will continue, but the group’s namesake is no more. The Time’s up brand, though, will be forever tarnished by partisanship and silence.
And Hollywood has only itself to blame.