With this whole Harvey Weinstein outrage, how did he get away with it for so long? Now it’s out he’s quickly been fired and rightly so, but according to the reports, he was at it for thirty years. I’ve barely been alive thirty years, have basically zero profile, and if I scraped the wrong car in the car park I’d struggle to ever book another gig.
The liberal Hollywood elite, who it’s deliciously easy to judge because we’re all jealous of them, have been jumping over each other to condemn ol’ hound dog Harvey. Which has doubtless hastened the fall from his producer’s pedestal, but where have they been for the last thirty years?
Somebody had to know before now. Indeed, there were several settlements and millions in payouts, so plenty of people knew, and for decades said anything.
I don’t think it was the sole responsibility of the women he targeted, either. They were in an awful situation that I have no idea how to remedy. Opportunities and preferential treatment should never be given in exchange for sexual favors. But how do you stop it, when there’s such a clear power imbalance?
Lecherous old man meets struggling starlet. Through the slobber of expectation and stench of decaying morals, he explains there are several top candidates for the role, but it’s hers if she touches this, rubs that, and lies down there. Or maybe he says nothing, invites her to his hotel room and simply expects things, and leaves the rest as implied.
She gets the role or doesn’t, and is she then willing to risk the tiny speck of hope she has of having any sort of career by speaking out against one of the most powerful people in the industry? Then even if she tries to, either nobody’s listening, or she’s offered a cartoonishly large sum of cash to shut the hell up.
Most of the responsibility needs to be placed on the slobberers. Weinstein even said, ‘I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.’
I know plenty of men from the same era who would never contemplate what he considers acceptable, and has he not noticed that the world has changed slightly since then? I’m sure he’s aware of email, vegan cakes, and internet porn, so must have heard that women are now people too. A man who produced so many intelligent and complex films would have known what he was doing wasn’t okay. He just refused to acknowledge it, because he didn’t want to stop.
I’m also sure plenty in Hollywood didn’t know it was happening, but the point that matters more than a million electric cars, colon cleanses, and adopted third-world children, is that there must have been powerful people who did know, and for decades refused to say anything. This is the very definition of a hypocrite.
Condemning those who have already been crucified by the media is wonderful, and too easy. What about outing those where the knowledge is out there? All those worst kept secrets, that are somehow still secrets? If the moral champions and liberal elites of Hollywood want to be taken seriously, they need to start naming the men who haven’t been caught yet, and keep getting away with it by buying the silence of the powerless, and hoping everyone else continues to play the game and stay silent.
This article first appeared on The Big Smoke
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian.
His second comedy memoir ‘Going Out of My Mined’ is available now.