1 . From the “Oh, Come on!” files. As I have mentioned here several times, Georgetown Law professor Professor Paul Butler decided to ambush me with a cheap shot on NPR last year, interjecting “Oh come on!” as I was explaining how a celebrity or prominent man’s inappropriate sexual advances could be initially welcome to a female subordinate, and then later, after, say, the same celebrity is regarded as toxic by that woman’s peer group, what were originally “welcome” (or not unwelcome) attentions could become retroactively unwelcome, prompting an accusation of sexual harassment. I was 100% correct. Last month, in an email exchange on ten topic with the NPR host, I was told that both she and the professor thought I was making excuses for Donald Trump.
Thus does Trump hate and bias make intelligent discourse increasingly difficult. If I had used Al Franken as my example instead of the President, I presume my commentary would not have been kneecapped. But I digress…
In jaw-dropping revelations in a new book coming out in May, actress Pam Dawber and others describe how co-star Robin Williams often treated her and other actresses on the set of “Mork and Mindy.” The book discusses Williams’ “improvisations”…
[M]any of these additions were sexual and directed at the women in the cast, such as when he goosed the actress who played Mindy’s grandmother with a cane.
[Director Howard] Storm said: ‘I’m standing there watching this and I’m thinking, “oh my god” and I just laughed. I thought she was going to turn and say: “How dare you stick a cane in a woman’s ass?” That sweet old lady.’There was nothing lascivious about it, in his mind. It was just Robin being Robin, and he thought it would be funny. He could get away with murder.’
Other times Williams would grab Dawber’s bottom or her breasts simply because he was ‘bored.’
‘He’d be doing a paragraph and in the middle of it he would just turn and grab her ass. Or grab a breast. And we’d start again. I’d say, “Robin, there’s nothing in the script that says you grab Pam’s ass.” And he’d say: “Oh, ok,”‘ Storm added.
Garry Marshall, the producer of the show, said: ‘He would take all his clothes off, he would be standing there totally naked and she was trying to act. His aim in life was to make Pam Dawber blush.’
But Dawber remained unfazed, she admits: ‘I had the grossest things done to me – by him. And I never took offense. I mean I was flashed, humped, bumped, grabbed. I think he probably did it to a lot of people…but it was so much fun.
‘Somehow he had that magic. If you put it on paper you would be appalled. But somehow he had this guileless little thing that he would do – those sparkly eyes. He’d look at you, really playful, like a puppy, all of a sudden. And then he’d grab your tits and then run away. And somehow he could get away with it. It was the Seventies, after all’.
- I don’t care when it was: a director and producer who allow that kind of conduct in the workplace are enabling criminal behavior.
- You wondered how Louis C.K. got te idea that masturbating in front of women was OK? Wonder no longer.
- So charming that Williams could get away with literally anything! Let me be precise: any Hollywood actor or actress who feigned shock and disgust at Donald Trump’s recorded “grab them by the pussy” remarks is a liar and a hypocrite…and by that I mean that if they expressed it, they were feigning it. For this is the culture they made, lived in, worked in, enabled and facilitated.
- And this is the King’s Pass and the Star Syndrome, ladies and gentlemen! Without Williams, a unique talent and unquestionably irreplaceable, “Mork and Mindy” would cease to exist, Dawber, Marshall, director Storm and “the sweet old lady” would be out of work. So they all allowed him to terrorize the set, and Williams took his license to the max.
- I didn’t quote the part where Dawber said that Williams would intentionally fart on her.
- Once Kevin Spacey had been jettisoned from “House of Cards” and it was clear that his chances of rising again were worse than Dracula’s, actors and techies on that show described that show as one where the star was allowed to run amuck. This will not change in Hollywood, despite the current grandstanding, posturing and virtue-signalling. If there is a successful show depednent on a unique talent who abuses his or her power, the abuse will be enabled by those in charge and the victims.
2. I could say that this result would make me less likely to vote for a woman, but that would be wrong. A poll of college students sponsored by the American Council on Education, the Charles Koch Foundation, and the Stanton Foundation asked students about how important free speech was on campuses. A majorities of the students polled said they supported both free speech and “inclusion and diversity.” When asked which was more important, 53 percent said inclusion and diversity and only 46 percent said free speech. Among men, 61% favored free speech, and only 35% of women did so.
The growing partisan gender gap is widely being represented in the media as a split between knuckle-dragging, gun-toting, toxic, authoritarian, patriarchal pussy-grabbers and the smarter, gentler, non-violent fairer sex. This poll suggests otherwise. It also tells me that if a majority of college students don’t value freedom of speech above “inclusion and diversity,” which are useful weasel words that can mean, and often do, quotas, political correctness bullying and reverse-discrimination, then our colleges are indoctrinating their charges in anti-American values.
3. I wonder where she went to school? Chloe Angyal, deputy opinion editor of The Huffington Post, used a series of tweets to communicate this last week:
Month two of @HuffPost Opinion is almost done. This month we published: 63% women, inc. trans women; 53% writers of colour.Our goals for this month were: less than 50% white authors (check!), Asian representation that matches or exceeds the US population (check!), more trans and non-binary authors (check, but I want to do better).We also wanted to raise Latinx representation to match or exceed the US population. We didn’t achieve that goal, but we’re moving firmly in the right direction.I check our numbers at the end of every week, because it’s easy to lose track or imagine you’re doing better than you really are, and the numbers don’t lie… (The numbers also don’t tell the whole story — about disability, geography, socioeconomics and more).But the work is not onerous and it’s definitely not impossible. If we can do it, every other opinion page can do it, too.And if you have an oped to pitch, here’s how you can do that. We pay, we edit with care and we are anti-Oxford comma.
She’s a bigot, and a publication that permits this kind of bias to be celebrated should be shunned. (I seldom use HuffPo any more.) Striving for diversity of opinion is one thing; making group identification a criteria for publication is unethical.
And not using the Oxford comma is just stupid.