UNITED STATES—I was in utter shock to learn in recent days that Hollywood film executive Harvey Weinstein had been accused of sexual harassment in the past and that it had been transpiring for decades. This is the guy who established Miramax films and helped usher in The Weinstein Company. Not to mention he has been the name behind some massive blockbuster and dramas that have walked away with the coveted Academy Award for Best Picture.
After news broke across the world of the New York Times writing a piece about Weinstein and multiple alleged incidents of sexual harassment in the past, he lawyered up. As the days progressed more and more detail surfaced about Mr. Weinstein and several of his victims including actress Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. Over the weekend, attorney Lisa Bloom resigned as an advisor for the film executive and on Sunday, The Weinstein Company announced that Harvey, the guy who started the company had been fired. It’s amazing that such behavior has transpired by this media mogul for years, and no one inside his inner circle was willing to call him out on his antics and behavior. However, things exploded, and I mean exploded Tuesday, when the New Yorker released a story chronicling many more victims of Weinstein, and the floodgates opened with A-list actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie coming forward noting they had encounters with Weinstein that was nothing to laugh about.
Several of the victims came forward, but now their voices are just being heard. Its despicable behavior; it’s sad and it’s sickening and unbelievable that Weinstein came out issuing a statement that was beyond disturbing. Noting his behavior was a result of behavior that he grew up knowing about in the industry. Are you kidding me? That may be the most pathetic excuse I have ever heard someone deliver without comprehending the magnitude of the matter at hand. That is indeed a very disturbing claim, and the fact that he thought it was acceptable because it was perceived as being ok is worrisome even more.
In Hollywood, we’ve all heard tales about certain rules having to be ‘played’ in order to climb to the top, and the idea is that it still seems to echo not in small waves, but tidal waves. Why is this still the case? Well, victims who speak out are ignored and worse, those who commit the crime pay off the victims or continue to be in a position of power at the studios and make such advances. In the world of celebrity, some are willing to make sacrifices to climb to the top, while others find themselves in uncomfortable positions and are not 100 percent certain of what to do, and what they should say if in such a compromising situation.
Big names have come out in support of the victims who suffered despicable actions at the hands of Harvey Weinstein. I mean Meryl Streep, God bless the woman did not mince words in the statement she issued on Monday morning, as did Kevin Smith, who has worked with Weinstein for close to 15 years. Other celebs voicing concerns included actresses Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence and Dame Judi Dench. However, what many have argued is that more MEN in the industry need to come forward and discuss the issue at hand. That transpired as the week progressed with more men in the industry coming out and denounced Weinstein and his behavior.
Weinstein’s ouster at The Weinstein Company is certainly going to impact the studio movie forward as it attempts to market films just in time as awards season comes to fruition. Some have even called for the Board of Directors at The Weinstein Company to be fired. A settlement in most situations is a claim that something transpired, and people want to have things swept under the rug, that can no longer be done. I don’t believe that a bevy of industry insiders had no idea what Weinstein was doing behind the scenes. Someone had to know something and just kept quiet.
An open dialogue and conversation needs to be had in this industry where men have all the power, and many use that power to their advantage making promises to kick-start ones career in return for sexual favors. Is it going to be difficult to change the world of sexual harassment in this industry? Yes, but it all starts not only with the victims speaking in waves, but for those closest to the perpetrator speaking out and alerting the authorities of such incidents. Make it be known what this person is doing rather it’s a male or female. If you’re tarnishing one’s reputation, and the pieces fit the crime I’m all for it.
It’s unacceptable and no one should have to endure such behavior rather it’s in the entertainment world, or everyday life. This is the problem with power and money: they go hand and hand and some people use it to their advantage to keep people quiet and to get the things they want out of life. Sexual harassment is wrong America, and Hollywood has a long history with this issue that is just now making national headlines. That little secret has exploded and hopefully this will lead to more changes in the industry to halting such deplorable behavior.