The latest development in the rapid fall of Hollywood independent film mogul and lionized Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein: The board of his own company, The Weinstein Company, just fired him.
You should read the New York Times’ damning story, following an investigation, about the extent of Weinstein’s long reign of misogynist terror in Hollywood. I don’t care to re-hash it. Note, as you read, that as disgusting as it is, more disgusting stories have come out since it was published. For example, a TV journalist now says that Weinstein once trapped her in the hallway of a restaurant that was closed to the public and masturbated in front of her until he ejaculated. She says she told friends about the episode, but remained quiet because “she was in a long-term relationship” and was “fearful of the power that Weinstein wielded in the media.”
- WHAT? She withheld this story for a decade because she was fearful, thus allowing Weinstein to abuse how many other women? Hundreds? I’d love to ask her if a powerful individual, in her opinion, could have done anything that would have caused her to make the effort to overcome her fear and self-interest. Someone who would act as she describes is pathological. What she endured was a criminal act. This is signature significance, is it not? Does a civilized, trustworthy, non-sociopath sicko ever do such a thing even once, on the worst day of his life? “I’m sorry I trapped you and masturbated in front of you; it wasn’t the best choice, and anyone can make a mistake.”
The man is and was dangerous. The woman had a citizen’s duty to report this to the police; I don’t care how powerful he was.
- And, apparently, dozens of actresses had experiences, if not quite that horrifying, horrifying enough. In the Times report, we learn that Weinstein invited Angry Progressive Feminist Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel 20 years ago for what she thought would be a breakfast meeting about her career. Weinstein had her sent to his hotel suite, where he greeted the actress in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage. She told The Times that he then proposed that she watch him shower. Now she tells us this? Now, after she excoriated the President on the Mall, using obscene terms to cheer on “resistance” “pussy- hat marchers in January and speculate about the President’s Trump’s wet dreams about his own daughter? Judd said she kept quiet to avoid alienating Harvey Weinstein because she was just at the beginning of her career—you know, like all of those Cosby victims. What’s her excuse for the rest of the 20 years, allowing more young actresses to be extorted into sexual submission? Larry O’Connor has the (revolting) answer, I think. In a piece for Mediaite, he writes of Judd,
Has she channeled that anger and humiliation and fear at the industry that allowed it? Or at the man and his multi-million dollar corporation that enabled it? No. Her real enemies are Republicans. Don’t you get it?
So the not-so-hidden message in Weinstein’s non-apology statement was “Hey, remember, I supported Hillary and Obama and I raise millions for Democrats and I’ll help destroy the NRA and Trump. I may treat you like shit, but my heart is in the right place. Now get your knee pads on.”
In Hollywood, being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry.
Judd has been praised for having the courage to tell her story now…when Weinstein is elderly and his power is waning, knowing the he was about to be exposed. No, this is an example of Rationalization #22, “It’s not the worst thing.” Yes, Judd is not as bad as the many, many actresses who kept quiet about this sexual predator, endangering others, who still are mum. Whoopie! Continue reading
I had hoped to have my “Celebrity Code of Ethics” complete for this post, but it isn’t, so I’ll just allude to some of its likely provisions.
I like Ashley Judd, I really do. I’m not sure why she never became the reigning female light drama star of her generation; she’s every bit as good as Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts, and that voice! Now she’s routinely relegated to repetitious action movies and will be playing Jennifer Lawrence’s mother any day now—oh well, that’s show biz. Judd is also more articulate and intellectually curious than the average celebrity, so it was with great pain and disappointment that I learned that she had recently said this, in an interview with Larry King, about the presidential prospects of Hillary Clinton:
“I think she might be the most overqualified candidate we’ve had since – you know, Thomas Jefferson or George Washington.”
Now, I don’t expect celebrities to be historians or experts on anything other than their profession and areas of specialty. However, one tenet of celebrity ethics is the same as that of doctors: “First, do no harm.” That means, for someone like Judd, a celebrity has an ethical duty to recognize that a disturbing number of people think that because she is rich and famous, she is necessarily informed, responsible and wise, as well as a role model, and therefore, unlike the usual drunk on a barstool, when that celebrity says something outrageously ignorant, stupid and misleading, hundreds of thousands of people believe it and align their own beliefs accordingly. That’s harmful, and doing it is unethical. Continue reading
Ashley Judd, the accomplished Hollywood actress-feminist (and the non-singing sister in the singing Judd family), is seriously contemplating a run for the Kentucky Senate as a Democrat against Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. There is a potential problem, however, implies the conservative “Daily Caller.” Judd will become the first serious contender for high national office who has appeared on screen numerous times in various degrees of nudity. The blog’s entertainment editor has done her research with no less an authority than MrSkin.com, and reports that Judd went topless for 1996′s “Normal Life” and went topless and bottomless in 1999′s “Double Jeopardy.” Meanwhile, in both 1996′s “Norma Jean and Marilyn” and 1999′s “Eye of the Beholder,” Judd went full frontal while also baring her comely tush. Ashley had a lesbian sex scene in 2002′s Oscar-nominated “Frida,” and “Mr. Skin” categorized nine other scenes as “sexy,” and if you can’t trust him on such matters, whom can you trust?
We have learned that former porn stars can’t be middle school teachers or beauty queens, that art teachers can’t be seen painting pictures with their butts (even with paper bags over their heads) and that “the Naked Teacher Principle” decrees that those we entrust with the the shaping of young minds cannot be trusted to do the job if their naughty bits are just a mouse click away. Doesn’t it follow that there is a “Naked Senator Principle”? Surely internet nudity that was previously available at the Multiplex is a disqualification for Congress. Isn’t it? Shouldn’t it be? Continue reading
Actress Ashley Judd (Full Disclosure: I am a long-time fan) finally has had it with snarky and degrading public speculation about her face, her weight, her appearance, and whether the star of TV’s “Missing” has “had work done,” and properly slams the celebrity media and those journalists who either write about her like she’s a competitor in a dog show or question her conduct and character based on their assessment of what she “should” look like. Her verdict: it’s misogyny. The acting member of the Judd family has written a passionate, perceptive, articulate (if you forgive occasional lapses into feminist jargon, like objectification otheration, and (yuck) heteronormative) and courageous essay over at the Daily Beast. If you have a daughter, have her read it. If you have a son, have him read it too. Heck, everybody should read it….here.
I wonder if the Daily Beast editors read it. Here is Ashley Judd, eloquently pleading that women should be assessed base on how they do their job rather than on their perceived sex appeal, and where does the website post it?
On the page called “The Sexy Beast.”
You have a lot of work to do, Ashley, but you’re fighting the right fight.
"Dear Mom, Sis: Hope you take my book in the spirit in which it was intended!"
Yes, celebrities live by different rules, but publishing a book that exposes your family’s secrets, hangs out its dirty laundry for all to smell, and settling scores with siblings in public is a cruel and unfair thing to do no matter who you are….or what the provocation.
Now actress Ashley Judd has published her account of what it was like growing up with Mama Naomi and Sister Wynnona, and her verdict is reportedly harsh. Ashley doesn’t need the money, so the only reasons for publishing “All That Is Bitter and Sweet: A Memoir” now are unethical ones: getting the satisfaction of vengeance, and hurting her own family members.
You should have waited, Ashley.
[Note: The original post was written from two sources that suggested that “I’m Not the Fat One” was the title. I apparently was taken in: this was a joke. My fault. Sorry Ashley.]