Sunday, October 22, 2017

Horrible Harvey


You no doubt recognize the gentleman man pictured above, although I'm betting that most of you wouldn't have known him scant weeks ago. That's famous (infamous?) Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, and I'm going to assume you've encountered the multiple news items quoting numerous actresses and others with various film-making credits, accusing him of being a sexual harasser, sexual assaulter, and rapist over the span of thirty-plus years. Roughly four dozen women -- a rather "Cosbyesque" amount, y'might say  -- have so far pointed fingers at Harvey.

I'm already sick of anyone -- primarily Harvey -- claiming or at least insinuating that Harvey is just a sex addict who needs rehab. Nope. The man's a power junkie who was surrounded by glamorous women at varying stages of their careers and seemingly wanted them all, or at least as many as his chubby little fingers could grab, sometimes literally. He was so powerful in the industry that he got away with these reprehensible acts for various reasons. Some actively enabled him, many just didn't know, others knew only rumors, many were afraid that their careers would be damaged or stalled if they told what had happened to themselves or others... The list goes on.

Now, if I were to come on to someone, only going as far as to ask her on a date (and nothing intimidating, physical, or coercive), her reaction would be primarily based on whether or not she found me attractive. It'd be fairly easy for her to say "no" if she wasn't inclined to accept. On the other hand, Harvey's targets had to deal with their worries where their careers were concerned. They didn't have the same freedom as would a woman I'd approached.

Basically, Harvey is one of those who did what he did because he could, not that that in any way excuses his actions. Even some of those who engaged in what Harvey's spokespeople call "consensual sex" did so out of fear or misplaced ambition.

You wanna know what all this hoopla reminds me of? More than twenty years ago, I heard a few details about then-Senator "Bob" Packwood, who was also accused of sexual harassment. Those "few details" led me to the opinion that Packwood was less of a sexual abuser/assaulter than just a guy trying all-too-clumsily to get dates with women who interested him.

A purposely-unflattering photo of Senator Packwood which I found online.

It wasn't until years later that I read up on his circumstances and changed my opinion of him. Here's something from his own journal:

Grabbed Tracy Gorman behind the Xerox machine today and she got a little pissed. What's the big deal? I was smiling while I did it. She made this big stink about it and it took me about two hours and a couple of thousand dollars to calm her down. I have one question — if she didn't want me to feather her nest, why did she come into the Xerox room? Sure, she used that old excuse that she had to make copies of the Brady Bill, but if you believe that, I have a room full of radical feminists you can boff. She knew I was copying stuff in there. I had my jacket off and my sleeves rolled up, revealing the well-defined musculature of my sinewy arms which are always bulging with desire. I know what she wanted. This didn't require a lot of thought.

I guess "the well-defined musculature of [his] sinewy arms which [were] always bulging with desire" just wasn't enough for some women, huh? (Note to ex-Senator Packwood: It's not your freakin' arms which are supposed to bulge with desire, okay? And I'm not even going to point out the double-entendre nature of "pack wood." Oops. I just did...)

But I oh-so-characteristically digress.

I think too many people out there, in and out of the film industry, assumed the old, cliched "casting couch" was a thing of the past. But it's not. And whether they operate in the entertainment field or not, there are far too many people who still abuse their power to coerce people into giving them their way. I suppose that will never change, as it's regrettably a natural instinct for far too many.

On the surface, things finally seem to be improving, with "big names" such as Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, and Bill O'Reilly being taken to task for alleged offenses against women. But then again, I thought that Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election showed that Americans were largely divorcing themselves from their racist ways, and the years since have proven me wrong, big-time. So what the hell do I know, hmm?

And if you're wondering why I bothered to write a column about him at all, I suppose I just figured I should add my two cents, seeing how everyone else on the planet seems to have done so already.


Oh, and one more thing, as petty as it is: Can't somebody give this guy a razor?

Hey, if we're lucky, maybe the s.o.b. will use it to cut his own throat.

Just kidding.

Sorta.

(And feel free to re-read this post and pencil in the word "allegedly" whenever I refer to something this scumbag is only "accused" of doing, willya?)

In closing, let me point you toward a great -- and relatively short -- article called "All the Other Harvey Weinsteins," written by actress Molly Ringwald and published in The New Yorker, which you can read here. She talks about her own experiences with sexual harassment, and at one point says "Stories like these have never been taken seriously. Women are shamed, told they are uptight, nasty, bitter, can’t take a joke, are too sensitive. And the men? Well, if they’re lucky, they might get elected President."

Couldn't help smiling at that.

Thanks for your time.

16 comments:

  1. Yep, they try to spin it with allegedly and other stupid words, but no matter what they say, they are douchebags. And the whole she can't take a joke or some other crap doesn't really fly when dozens are accusing you. Power trip and they think they are untouchable. Then when caught on tape, whoops, down they go. Hopefully he falls into a pit and stays there. Or uses a razor that's too sharp. But heck, with America's track record these days, he'll probably become the next president.

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    1. Our Prez was quoted as saying “I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time. I’m not at all surprised to see it.” Sure, I'll bet he and Harvey compared notes about women they'd assaulted.

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  2. Being a bearded person myself, whenever I see a scruff like his I usually say, "Hey! Either grow the damned thing or shave it off. Otherwise you look like a slob!" Although in Harvey's case slob is way too kind. He actually looks like a sex offender. And I'd love to see him in jail, in the general population and not one of those country clubs for white collar crimes.

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    1. As yet another bearded person, I totally agree about the beard thing. And yes, if he does end up in jail, let it be a "real" jail.

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  3. I love what you wrote here and it just shows how narcissism is rampant with people in power. I wish this was unique but it isn’t. I believe this was an open secret since comedians joked about before anything became public. Jack Warner, from Warner Bros. Was famous for his rudeness, ignorance and the casting couch. Louis B Mayer, Darryl Zanuck, Harry Cohn and many of the big wigs from old Hollywood routinely used their power on women to get what they wanted and so:e women used this so they also got ahead..like Joan Crawford. It’s a shame that this happens but I am not surprised and almost wonder if this was not some power struggle between the Weinstein Brothers and I think it is since now their company is in bad shape.you better believe the brother knew about Harvey’s antics.

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    1. You may be right about a power struggle between the brothers. After all (speaking of Jack Warner), look at what Jack Warner did to his own brothers!

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  4. I knew who Harvey was (and his brother Bob) before the scandal broke. What surprises me is that I didn't hear rumors about Harvey. I'd heard about Cosby, Ailes, and O'Reilly for years. I can't say that I'm shocked about it though. Power breeds bad behavior in too many cases.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm not surprised that you knew who the Weinsteins were, since you usually know the background of the films you watch.

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  5. Glad I didn't know the man, because I'd want to hurt him. Seriously.

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  6. People like that make me want to scream. They prey on others to feed their own ego. Ugh it makes my heart weep :(

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    1. There's no shortage of people who abuse whatever power they have.

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  7. I'm a firm believer in the idea that you can find out a lot about a person by how they use the power they have. It bothers me so much that so many people knew of this and yet no one spoke out, thus allowing it to continue to happen to others.

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    1. I can almost understand (but definitely not condone) that such actions were hushed up in the 1940s and earlier. But now, we're supposedly so much more enlightened. Riiiiight.

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