(And thanks for your service, your sacrifice, your guidance, pretty much everything, dad.)
1 In the last 24 hours, Actress Ellen Page has accused director Brett Ratner of sexually harassing her on the set of “X-Men: The Last Stand;” Richard Dryfuss, whose son was one of the recent accusers of Kevin Spacey, was accused of exposing himself to LA writer Jessica Teich as part of regular harassment while they worked on a TV show in the 1980s (Dreyfus: “: “I emphatically deny ever ‘exposing’ myself to Jessica Teich, whom I have considered a friend for 30 years,…I did flirt with her, and I remember trying to kiss Jessica as part of what I thought was a consensual seduction ritual that went on and on for many years. I am horrified and bewildered to discover that it wasn’t consensual. I didn’t get it. It makes me reassess every relationship I have ever thought was playful and mutual.”); ER star Anthony Edwards accused producer and writer Gary Goddard of in a Medium essay of molesting him when Edwards was a child, and George Takai, “Sulu” to you, was accused by a former male model of groping him in 1981.
NOW can we call it a witch hunt? If you want to kick a successful Hollywood figure’s career in the groin: accuse him of sexual misconduct! If your own career is flagging and you would like some publicity, and interview, and some ink, accuse someone of sexual misconduct! Do it fast, before someone else dredges up a story about you turning a blind eye to a friend, mentor, or another powerful figure’s misconduct. By all means, don’t make these accusations in formal settings and in a timely fashion so they can be proven or disproven, and so the accused has anything resembling due process and procedural fairness. No, the objective is to simultaneously signal, as quickly and loudly as possible, your #MeToo status, place yourself inextricably in the victims camp, and do maximum damage. By guaranteeing that all of these juicy accusations are lumped together in the media’s feeding frenzy, the legitimate accusations are indistinguishable from the dubious ones.
Quick! Board the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck before it leaves the station! And be sure to drag someone on board with you!
2. Waiting 30 plus years to make a public, previously unrevealed accusation of sexual misconduct that will do maximum damage to the accused while ensuring that, guilty or not, that individual cannot convincingly defend himself, should be reserved for only the most egregious examples of serial sexual predators, like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and, apparently, Kevin Spacey.
3. George Takai is a an example of how unjust the current mania is. A minor cult figure in the “Star Trek” fan base, Takai had emerged as a champion of gay marriage and built a career resurgence, doing TV commercials, speaking engagements and picking up cameo roles in low budget films. That’s all probably dead now. He provoked this late and fatal hit on his reputation by what his accuser, Scott R. Brunton, wrongly thought was hypocrisy.
Brunton claims that he met up with Takei years after the incident in Portland, Brunton’s current home, while the actor was there on a book tour. “I wanted to see him,” Brunton says. “I always wanted to ask him — I just felt really betrayed. I thought I was a friend and here I am later, just another piece of meat. So I called him up at the hotel — I figured out which hotel he was at — and he said ‘Hi, Scott. I remember you.’ I wanted to ask him why. We met for coffee, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was just too uncomfortable.”
Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. “Who’s going to believe me? It’s my word against his,” he says.
Brunton’s reasoning changed after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and specifically when Takei spoke out regarding allegations leveled against Kevin Spacey.
On Oct. 29, Anthony Rapp, an actor starring in the latest Star Trek series, claimed to BuzzFeed News that Spacey sexually assaulted him while he was a minor in 1986. Spacey later apologized and came out as gay in response. “When power is used in a non-consensual situation, it is a wrong,” Takei said of the Spacey claim in a statement to THR on Oct. 30. “For Anthony Rapp, he has had to live with the memory of this experience of decades ago. For Kevin Spacey, who claims not to remember the incident, he was the older, dominant one who had his way. Men who improperly harass or assault do not do so because they are gay or straight — that is a deflection. They do so because they have the power, and they chose to abuse it.”
Brunton says he found Takei’s response infuriating. “I don’t want anything from him but an apology,” he says. “I am sure he’ll disown all this, I don’t know, maybe not.”
Thus because Brunton didn’t have the courage or sense of fairness to confront Takai privately when they met for coffee, he feels justified to perform a media ambush now. Why was Brunton infuriated by Takai’s statement about Spacey and harassment? That wasn’t hypocrisy. That was a man showing that he had learned that he was wrong 37 years ago.
4. I can’t quite bring myself to make Sean Hannity an Ethics Hero, BUT…Hannity, who immediately leaped to Roy Moore’s defense following the Washington Post’s discovery of four women who say they dated him when they were teens (and he was a middle-aged assistant district attorney, AND one of his dates was a really young teen, as in illegal), interviewed Moore on his radio show, and shocked everyone by getting Moore to grill himself like a suicidal salmon. The full transcript is here.
It’s clear that Moore thought Hannity would be a sympathetic ear and toss softball questions. It is also clear that Moore isn’t very bright, and was inadvertently trying to break the record previously set by Gary Condit for making himself sound as guilty as possible while denying his guilt. Moore’s answers were contradictory, and Hannity nicely baited the Alabama Senate candidate by asking the same questions more than once. “These allegations are completely false, false and misleading,” Moore said initially. Then shortly after that, Hannity asked, “Let me ask you this… you do remember these girls; would it be unusual for you as a 32 year old guy to have dated a woman as young as 17? That would be a 15 year difference or a girl 18. Do you remember dating girls that young at that time?”
“Not generally, no,” Moore answered. “If did, you know, I’m not going to dispute anything but I don’t remember anything like that.”
I sure would remember dating a teenager when I was 3o.
Then immediately after saying he doesn’t remember, Moore had this exchange:
HANNITY: But you don’t specifically remember having any girlfriend that was in her late teens even at that time?
MOORE: I don’t remember that and I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother. And I think in her statement she said that her mother actually encouraged her to go out with me.
‘I don’t remember dating any teenage girls, but when I did, I always had their mothers’ permission.’
Then Moore unequivocally denies the alleged contact with a 14-year-old “date,” insisting that there is a vast liberal conspiracy against him, though not in so many words.
Gee, why don’t I believe him? Why would anyone believe him?
5. I have now read repeated statements in the news media, by pundits, and on Facebook that Moore is a pedophile. Fake news. How hard is it to check a dictionary? A pedophile is sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children.
6. And now, on a lighter note, here’s what Bill Maher said last night on his HBO show:
“I have to say, I gotta defend my tribe here a little bit—liberals versus conservatives—because certainly sexual harassment is absolutely the one thing we see now is totally, truly bipartisan (maybe the last thing that is),” said Maher. “But no liberal defended Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey, who might be going to jail. Anthony Weiner is in jail. Louis C.K., we hear this week, did horrific things. Compare that to Trump and Roy Moore. We arrest our alleged rapists—they elect them. I mean, there’s a pig in the White House.”
Isn’t that funny?
- No one defended Harvey Weinstein? The Hollywood establishment and Democratic stars sidn’t defend him; they lauded him, endorsed him, and enabled him, all while almost certainly knowing exactly the kind of man he was and exactly the way he treated women. When Weinstein became a pariah, of course nobody defended him….even fellow harassers.
- I remember when liberals were the ones who insisted on due process and Constitutional rights, and now Maher—just like Black Lives Matter!–says that liberals believe mere allegations justify arrests.
Finally, I’m just sure there is a prominent Democrat who was and is and is an alleged rapist. I can’t quite fetch his name. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. Who is that? Help me out here. And Bill forgot about him too, so I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad…