Weinstein & Hollywood: Really, We're Shocked?
Power. Money. Greed. What could go wrong?
Harvey Weinstein, a film executive and producer, was fired from The Weinstein Company, the corporation he helped to create, following allegations of sexually harassment from actresses and female news anchors and film executives. An article published in The New York Times on Monday outlined Weinstein’s serial harassment of his female subordinates in hotel rooms, restaurants, and offices over a period of decades. In a response on Monday, Meryl Streep released a statement, stating her innocence in their relationship. In a town where everyone knows everyone’s business, it is incredibly hard to believe, that even whispers on the street, never got to Academy Award winning actress, Meryl Streep.
And even so, what responsibility do these actors have to us? Woody Allen’s daughter alleged he molested her in their family attic when she was a young girl, yet Selena Gomez is filming with him as we speak. Bill Cosby allegedly date raped numerous women over the course of his career, and no convictions have been made.
The hypocrisy and tolerance of sexism in the entertainment industry isn’t regelated to men. Lisa Bloom, the lawyer Harvey Weinstein hired to implement damage control, held the hand of Blac Chyna months ago, after Rob Kardashian leaked naked photos of her. Her mother is Gloria Allred, who represents some of the women in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault case. Conveniently enough, Lisa Bloom recently sold the movie rights to her book to none other than Harvey Weinstein. And although Lisa Bloom dissolved her relationship with Harvey Weinstein on Monday, it wasn’t before she defended him as merely “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” Holding the hand of a victim one day and defending purported sexual aggressors the next day to hawk your novel. The hypocrisy exists in all facets of an industry that is so highly glamorized. Lorne Michaels can green light sketches about Donald Trump, the election, or feminism, but when asked about excluding a Harvey sketch this past Saturday he claims “it’s a New York thing”. The responsibility to do the right thing falls on all the actors who on their own accord have expressed interest or passion in women’s rights issues.
Can you attend the women’s march and work for Woody Allen? Can you enthusiastically applaud equal pay at the Oscar’s, but look the other way when you work with an abuser of women? Can you have fame, power, and a platform, but refuse to represent a demographic? Should we be idolizing these people who when they speak out against social wrongs at award shows but remain silent when they openly benefit from the same system they rage against? If celebrities can promote watches, political candidates, or healthy water, why aren’t they promoting safe work environments?
Unfortunately, none of this is shocking to anyone who has worked in the entertainment industry. Sadly, other industries are riddled with sexism, racism, and homophobia. But for one so openly wrought with power hungry, egomaniacal, conceded, and rich men (and some women) how is it shocking to the number actress in America?