Over the last several months it feels like the folks out in Hollywood have ratcheted up their sanctimonious chattering directed at the masses; it’s more than the usual haughty crap we’ve heard from them. I truly think the election of Donald Trump sent a lot of folks over the edge out there, and it’s kind of fascinating seeing some of the completely bonkers statements these pampered nitwits have made. The sheer ridiculousness of most of these statements ought to be enough to cause their loved ones or at least their agents to maybe direct them toward some professional help.
The preaching reached a fever pitch about “rape culture” with the Women’s March (organized, ironically, by some shady people), and it spread to awards shows. Several of the people preaching to the rest of us about the ills of Donald Trump either knew about Harvey Weinstein or should have. They knew about the other men in the business doing what he was, as well, or at least knew the rumors. They knew about all that and yet they chose to spend their platform with a bunch of hectoring, nagging rhetoric about the President, as though his personal flaws would somehow spread to the way he treated… every random woman in the country.
Yet they knew what Harvey was up to.
This isn’t new — several years ago, Barbara Walters confronted Cory Feldman when he claimed there were rampant pedophiles in Hollywood and accused him of “smearing an industry” or some similarly worded nonsense. This was a victim — a victim claiming to be sexually assaulted. Yet he didn’t deserve to be believed because it smeared people in the club. Feldman has been making claims for a while now, and his friend Corey Haim likely died as an indirect result of the abuse he suffered. Nobody has ever faced any sort of condemnation for that. Are we to believe those are the only two child actors to be abused?
Because at the beginning of this story there were few women calling out what Weinstein did — and now there are more. Should we assume that the cover-ups only apply to men like him, and Polanski, and Allen, or are there more?
And why, with so many platforms just this year, did it take so long for this story to come out? There have been a whole host of shows, interviews, tweets — what took so damned long? Because if this situation were different and it were a new sex scandal in any sort of church, or at the NRA, you can believe the folks in Hollywood would lose their minds. There’d be marches. There’d be hell to pay. People would be demanding to know why NBC and the New York Times spiked this story.
I still want to know why certain actors stuck up for Weinstein. Is it just for money? For greed?
The problem is that these people truly live in a bubble. The louder they are, the weirder their bubble is. They don’t have to contend with life the way the rest of us do. They’re surrounded by people doing things for them — people kissing their ass, people telling them they’re great. They have yes-men and yes-women, they have personal assistants. They can find people to make them think they’re right about whatever the topic is. But they’ll defend their lifestyle to the death — and anyone else in the club has to be defended, until it risks the club.
See, Weinstein’s story couldn’t be covered up any longer, and it was a risk to the club in general. People could lose careers over this. They can’t have that — and watch how fast they turned on him. Fortunately, it appears as though it wasn’t fast enough to keep the flames off everyone else and a few other assholes might have to face a reckoning. But make no mistake: this won’t get ’em all.
Not even close.
Because whenever there is a chance to misbehave like this, people who want to misbehave like this will seek it out. They’ll find their own place to misbehave, and they’ll protect it at all costs. This guy got away with his raunchy, despicable antics for decades even though hundreds of people had to know. Because he could — because he had power. Power corrupts. And because of his power, the risk of his behavior — that would land most people in jail — was quite low. This is why, in all things, we should keep a watchful eye on the powerful.
It’s also a stark reminder that we shouldn’t let Hollywood preach at us because there are more skeletons in their closet than the average graveyard. There are people in Hollywood who aren’t reckless, degenerate idiots — but the louder they signal their virtue, the more they insist on being seen as some sort of holy arbiter of truth and morality, the more we need to question them. Because what qualifications have they got, anyway?
(It is also somewhat delicious that Harvey Weinstein kind of resembles the image of Humpty Dumpty as an egg, and he just had a great fall. But all the Harvey’s Damons and all the Harvey’s Afflecks can’t put the Harvey back together again.)