The Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal which has rocked the Hollywood establishment and shocked America to its core, according to mainstream media should not have surprised anyone (if fact much of the shock and horror being expressed is typical Hollywood liberal hypocrisy.) And now the story has broken, it seems that as well as a few who were actually victims of this man, all the usual suspects are jumping on the bandwagon and shouting, “me too, me too.”
To them we can only say,”Honestly, you celebrity sheeple, we in the real world know what goes on in showbiz, the fashion game, politics and all other areas where fame and fortune are in the gift of venal individuals, you people are not as unique and amazing as you think. There have always been both women and men who would disrobe and ‘assume the position’ for the sake of short term gain. You are mummers for fuck’s sake, players in a farce, stop believing your own publicity.”
Weinstain (!) has been known as a sexual predator for years and the history of rich, powerful old men in Hollywood using their position to extort sexual favours from good looking young actors and actresses is as old as Hollywood itself. We have reported it in our blogs, HERE, HERE, AND HERE.
The latest Hollywood scandal (plus a few linked in the previous paragraph,) and the corruption endemic in Washington, isn’t only an indictment of the celebrity culture, but of America’s moral decay as well.
The story of Weinstein, the uber-powerful film producer, co-founder of Miramax Films, friend and major donor to Democratic politicians (including Hillary Clinton whose mock outrage in her condemnation of him for doing what she could not have been unaware of when he was useful to her, and behaviour similar to that she has tolerated and defended in her husband Bill for decades,) is the story of America’s moral decay in the second half of the twentieth century and on into the twenty first.
Sure Harvey was fired from his job as co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company after the New York Times ran an article exposing his serial sexual harassment of female employees, is such a perfect storm of corruption, depravity and hypocrisy that it exquisitely encapsulates the moral decay of America. Prior to that article however, the great and not o good of show business and politics had obviously known of this proclivities but had closed ranks to protect one of their own.
The New York Times piece revealed that Weinstein has, over the years, settled at least eight sexual harassment lawsuits out of court. We are told the settlements included gagging clauses. What the article reported just the tip of a really grotesque iceberg, for in its wake a plethora of other claims has surfaced.
In a New Yorker article, written, ironically enough, by Ronan Farrow, son of alleged pedophile Woody Allen, even more claims emerged of Weinstein’s predatory behavior. One of the many lowlights from that article includes Italian actress/filmmaker Asia Argento and two other women claiming that Weinstein raped them.
The most famous women among the sea of those claiming harassment at the hands of the movie mogul are Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette. Thereare of course many condemning Weinstein who had no direct dealings but are vicariously shocked and offended by the scandal.
The repugnance of the Weinstein scandal i overwhelming, and nearly every public person is going through the pantomime of denouncing Harvey and his lecherousness, but this comes over as disingenuous at best. All the movie stars, media members, and politicians now publicly expressing their disgust at Weinstein have previously displayed nothing but admiration for his genius as a producer and promoter during the time he could influence their careers, or give them credibility as they campaigned for votes.
What strikes us is the many similarities with a showbiz scandal that shook Britain in 2014 when DJ and television presenter Jimmy Savile, about whom there had been rumours for decades but who, like Weinstein had been protected by the establishment (allegations of his bizarre and perverted behaviour were routinely deflected by reminders that he “did a lot for charity,” but as stories emerged that had been covered up for years it turned out even that had an ulterior motive.
So how do people like Harvey Weinstein and jimmy Savile get escape exposure for so long? The main reason is the deification of fame; both were shameless self promoters, Savile’s schtick was a man of the people act, the charity work was part of this, his TV shows specialised in putting members of the public centre stage for a few minutes. And he was a valuable asset to his main employer, the taxpayer funded public broadcaster The BBC. Weinstein had a knack of producing films have been nominated for Oscars for Best Picture 26 times in the last 28 years and have been nominated overall for over 300 Academy Awards. In other words, Harvey could make people rich and famous, which is why so many in Hollywood found enough felixibility in their moral compass to ignore his alternative career as a rapist and sex abuser. To quote Upton Sinclair, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
Blind ambition isn’t the only reason Hollywood looked the other way regarding Weinstein, political expediency played a part as well. Weinstein has been a long time supporter of Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in particular, and has donated a lot of money to their campaigns. And so both those hypocrites, who had shamelessly played on their politically correct credentials when campaigning were quite happy to turn a blind eye to misogyny when the money was rolling in from a misogynist
A perfect example of someone making a devil’s bargain with Weinstein for political reasons is Lena Dunham, a vociferous and vocal Clinton supporter and devout feminist, who has consistently attacked Donald Trump for a crude, but private, conversation that took place years ago. Duham admitted she knew of Weinstein’s predatory reputation in regards to women, but still shook his hand and performed at a fundraiser he held for Clinton’s campaign. Dunham said she betrayed her feminist values because “she so desperately wanted to support Clinton.” Yeah, right Lena, the end justifies the means when the end is to advance your agenda.
Hollywood liberals were quick to denounce Evangelical Christians for supporting Trump despite his alleged moral turpitude and misogyny, calling them hypocrites. Well in the case of hypocrites, I guess it takes on to know one.
Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote in the seventeenth century, “Wad some power the giftie gie us, tae see ourselves as others see us, (from Ode To A Louse).
Burns was an inveterate womaniser but he knew how to behave (and it’s likely those Scottish farm girls knew how to handle a man who didn’t.) The life of a Scottish farmer and tax collector would not require the decorous manners of a Royal court, but anyone who stepped out of life could expect a visit from the father and bothers and uncles and cousins of the young lady he had offended. Perhaps we need a return to such rough justice to persuade the likes of Fat Boy Weinstein that he might be a rich and powerful movie mogul but that does not give him droit de siegneur over atttractive young women whose careers he can influence.
It is difficult to admit, but if we could find the courage to see ourselves as others see us, to borrow the line from Burns, we would recognize that Harvey Weinstein and Jimmy Savile and all the others are the story of democratic civilisation’s decline. Both are or were in Savile’s case, totally self centred, amoral, entitled, corrupt, impervious to criticism, blindly ambitious, lacking self awareness, and willing to use power and fame to exploit the weak and indulge their darker impulses and insatiable desires. The sooner we recognize that, and recognise our own shortcomings in having been so besotted by wealth and fame we tolerated it, the faster we can try to arrest the moral decay that threatens out way of life.