(and thank heaven THAT week is over with…)
1 There will be a full post on the Harvey Weinstein matter later today, but let’s get his vomit-inducing statement to the Times out of the way. If you are late to this party, Weinstein has been a powerful Hollywood producer and power-broker for decades, as well as a high profile supporter of the Democratic party, the Clintons, and Barack Obama. In a New York Times exposé yesterday, he was also revealed as a serial sexual abuser and harasser, whose conduct and cover-ups his industry and the politicians who received and accepted his checks were almost certainly aware of. More of that later; let’s look at the mogul’s response to the Times story. You can read the whole nauseating thing here. I’ll focus on these lowlights…
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 have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.
Sexual harassment has been unambiguously condemned in our law and culture for more than 30 years. This is a weak “Everybody used to do it” excuse. When did he “learn” it’s not an excuse? If he knows it’s not an excuse, why is he offering it as an excuse?
My journey now will be to learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plan to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue head on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more.
I don’t even know how to describe this, except that more blatant BS I have seldom read in my life. Who is supposed to be convinced by such transparent “Damn! I’m caught! How can I pretend I’m sorry?” blather?
Here’s the pièce de résistance, though:
I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.
Translation: “Remember, Hollywood, I’m one of you! I hate what you hate! I believe in the right things! I want to defeat the bad guys! I’m also Jewish, give money to good causes and loved my mom!”
How desperate, cynical, pandering and shameless can a man get? Does Weinstein think that kind of blinding virtue signalling works on the Hollywood and liberal elite? My god…DOES it work?
2. Side note: Ann Althouse is mostly concerned that in the statement, Weinstein misquotes a J-Z lyric. She writes,
How could he make such a sloppy mistake? I think I know. Weinstein has people do things for him. I think he dictated the statement he wanted, throwing in the reference to the song, paraphrasing the general meaning, and somebody else wrote up the statement and assumed Weinstein knew what he was quoting. That was a terrible assumption. Why wouldn’t this person check?!
This is Ann being quirky rather than useful. The real question is, why wouldn’t “this person” ask, “Are you kidding Harvey? This whole statement is an embarrassment”?
3. And speaking of Hollywood’s spectacularly hypocritical celebration of criminal, women-abusing sleaze-bags while posing as a bastion of feminism and indignation over what Donald Trump said to Billy Bush years ago: a fourth woman has come out to accuse Roman Polanski, currently a fugitive from justice after pleading guilty to child rape in the US decades ago, of rape. She says he raped her—twice–when she was 16.
Hollywood awarded Polanski the Best Director Oscar in 2003, with many in the Oscars audience, including Martin Scorsese and Meryl Streep, standing to honor him. Polanski couldn’t attend, however, being on the run to avoid punishment for rape. When Polanski was arrested in Zurich in 2009 and the US tried to extradite him, more than 100 Hollywood celebrities signed a petition demanding his release, including Mia Farrow, Woody Allen, Harrison Ford, David Lynch, Tilda Swinton, Darren Aranofsky, Penelope Cruz, Wes Anderson, and—surprise!– Harvey Weinstein. Cate Blanchett named one of her sons after Roman. In 2010, Johnny Depp said, “Clearly, very clearly — and he’s proven this — Roman Polanski is not a predator.” On “The View,” Whoopi Goldberg shrugged off the initial rape charge, claiming that a child star agreeing to sex on a casting couch “wasn’t rape-rape.”
Hollywood’s hypocrisy on feminism and misogyny gives hypocrisy a bad name.
4. AND speaking of despicable hypocrites, we have GOP Pennsylvanian Rep. Tim Murphy, a vocal anti-abortion advocate who is now resigning from Congress after a newspaper acquired text messages from Murphy to his mistress (he’s happily married, of course, like all conservatives) encouraging her to get an abortion. Murphy is a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus and voted this week for legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks.
Maybe Harvey Weinstein will write a statement for him…
5. Now, a poll: