Harvey Weinstein is clearly a monster. Many in Hollywood have obviously known this for a long time. I’m not just talking about the victims who have experienced shock at the least; some have been extremely traumatized by their experience. With so many victims coming out, where were the people who knew this was happening? Why was this allowed to continue for decades?
The list of women harassed, abused, or even raped by Weinstein is growing rapidly. Hollywood is not known for keeping secrets, at least not internally. It’s impossible that with so many victims, there was nobody who could have intervened. Even if the victims themselves were too traumatized by the events or fearful of how it would be perceived, surely those who are supposed to be supporting them and their careers should have come out and said something.
Their silence is deafening. Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow are the latest to come out and tell their stories of harassment in their youth. Brad Pitt confronted Weinstein about Paltrow back then. Surely he knew about Jolie’s experience years later. Why didn’t he do anything publicly? Why is he just now confirming a story now?
I get it. Weinstein was powerful. Guess what? Powerful men can be taken down. Monsters like Weinstein should have been taken down long ago. That he was allowed to continue for decades is a foul testament to every agent, manager, husband, parent, and friend of any victim who knew of Weinstein’s crimes but chose to stay silent. They weren’t protecting their loved ones with their silence. They were enabling a despicable man to continue with his despicable ways indefinitely.
The list of accusers against Harvey Weinstein has continued to grow, with over a dozen women coming out to the The New Yorker early Tuesday. Now, Jolie and Paltrow have publicly spoken about their own experiences with Weinstein to The New York Times, who broke the story last week of Weinstein’s alleged decades of sexual abuse.
The actress and filmmaker claims in the article that in 1997, a producer that worked for Weinstein invited her to what she was told was a Miramax party at a hotel in France. When she arrived, however, there was no one allegedly there except for Weinstein — in a hotel room.
(CNN)Update, at 1:30 p.m. ET: After publication, Hillary Clinton released a statement through a spokesman. “I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.” The statement made no mention of returning contributions from Weinstein.
From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories | The New Yorker
For more than twenty years, Weinstein has also been trailed by rumors of sexual harassment and assault. This has been an open secret to many in Hollywood and beyond, but previous attempts by many publications, including The New Yorker, to investigate and publish the story over the years fell short of the demands of journalistic evidence. Too few people were willing to speak, much less allow a reporter to use their names, and Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, monetary payoffs, and legal threats to suppress these myriad stories. Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, told me that she did not speak out until now—Weinstein, she told me, forcibly performed oral sex on her—because she feared that Weinstein would “crush” her. “I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” Argento said. “That’s why this story—in my case, it’s twenty years old; some of them are older—has never come out.”
Harvey Weinstein doesn’t just represent the sins of powerful men. He represents a culture of silence in Hollywood that is both repugnant and shameful. The people who should have been protecting Weinstein’s victims had a responsibility to expose this creep. They chose to sweep it under the rug and allow the crimes to continue.