Harvey Weinstein’s life has fallen apart fast. He was fired from his own company. His wife left him. And now the latest is that his memberships to prominent Hollywood organizations are being stripped.
Those memberships are the credentials that distinguish who’s who in Hollywood. He had it all. He was at the top of the food chain in Hollywood with the studio, the parking place, and the casting couch.
His behavior is in no way justifiable and more actresses are coming out to talk about how he harassed them. There are even reports of rape. Female celebrities are saying that it was a common reaction to cringe whenever they saw him.
Exhibit A: Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez
That says two things to me. He probably harassed just about every good-looking female in the industry. But also, it was known. People knew his reputation and did nothing about it until now. Why is that?
Hollywood has its way of looking the other way when it’s someone of power and popularity. It was an industry practice for so many people. It was accepted. Some people sleep their way to the top. That’s a known. But when the reality contradicts the narrative, everyone scrambles to be on the side of right.
People in power are talking about how disgusted they are to “find out” about Harvey’s behavior. They are appalled. They are shocked. They “never knew” that he was raping, groping, sexually harassing whoever he could get his hands on.
People at the top are scrambling because the narrative in Hollywood is that sexual harassment is wrong and Hollywood as a whole attempts to come out on the side that champions the people. They make movies and television shows that address social issues. They donate to charities and they lend their voices to causes. They have to look good in this! So, Harvey Weinstein has to go down.
But, the thing is that this behavior has been going on for a long time. It’s so common knowledge that it has been a theme in movies and television shows for a long time. Take the following examples:
Do You Remember This Scene In ‘Tootsie?’
And This Scene In ‘Bowfinger?’
There are plenty of scenes in movies and television shows where the issue was dealt with seriously when a producer or top executive took advantage of the situation. There is even an entire adult film theme built around that scenario of the “casting couch.” It’s a whole erotic niche where a naive actress is tricked into taking off her clothes and doing what she’s asked because she thinks she’s going to get a part.
The two scenes above touch lightly on the subject. But, the equation is still there. In Bowfinger, it can be argued she knows what she’s doing and she’s doing it to get what she wants. That happens in Hollywood too.
But, the actual equation is that the producer is a man of power. The actress has given into the power because it’s the only way to get what she wants and he takes advantage of that position. It happens more often than you think. In fact for some people, that’s the way the industry works.
Harvey Weinstein is not a product of the good ol’ days when that was the equation that dictated who got roles in movies and who climbed up the ladder. Sadly, that has been the case and is still the case even until now. But, Harvey will go down for his actions while other producers and directors will champion the cause.
They will rise up on top of it and speak out against it. They might even change their practices because there is a very strong voice now that doesn’t approve. In other words, they’ll get away with it because they were able to navigate the backlash without a blemish.