Harvey Weinstein still doesn’t seem to think what he has done to women in the past should ostracize him from Hollywood and the movie industry, but after Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow spoke up about their experiences with the producer, his world quickly closed in on him.
The biggest question people are wondering is if this will change Hollywood, but having worked in this industry for over twenty years; things will be sadly forgotten. Bill Cosby shows have already snuck back onto television; no one remembers the women that spoke out about Donald Trump so after this blows over, the town will go back to its old ways. I wish and hope that I can be proven wrong, but it’s a very predictable town.
Remember when Corey Feldman tried to speak up about the sexual predators in Hollywood that molested him and Corey Haim? Barbara Walters lambasted Feldman in an interview on The View which only shows the power in tinsel town and how even the most respected journalists will shield these monsters. If it ever comes out to show how many high profile stars, journalists, and executives shielded Weinstein’s actions along with the other sexual predators, then things would be forced to change, but in Hollywood, fear is a daily vitamin taken in many doses and will continue driving the industry.
Both Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie added their first-person accounts of uncomfortable experiences with Weinstein to the ever-growing list of accusations against the movie mogul from women alleging decades of systematic sexual harassment and assault. The accusers have come from everywhere — actresses you’ve heard of, actresses you haven’t, models, assistants, employees, a reporter and young women who found themselves in the orbit of the powerful executive.
But, as the story often goes, no one expected it to go this high.
Speaking to The New York Times, in the paper’s second round of Weinstein exposés, Paltrow describes a now familiar-sounding scene of her at age 22 being asked to meet Weinstein, who had just cast her as the title character in the adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma.” She was summoned to Weinstein’s hotel room, where he proceeded to touch her and suggest a massage in the bedroom.
Jolie also remembered Weinstein making advances in a hotel room early in her career. She never worked with him again.
The damning accounts came just hours after The New Yorker published its own explosive investigation into Weinstein’s conduct that included three accusations of rape: One from Italian actress and director Asia Argento. There were accounts of harassment from Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette and others too. The New Yorker also reported that 16 former and current executives and assistants at The Weinstein Co. and Miramax either witnessed or knew of Weinstein’s unwanted sexual advances: “All sixteen said the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company.”
It is a list that continued to grow Tuesday as the minutes ticked by. After the one-two punch of the Times and The New Yorker articles Tuesday, more accusations followed too. One from a former actress who recounted Weinstein meeting her wearing a bathrobe with nothing on underneath at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, the other from actress Heather Graham, who says he implied she would have to sleep with him for a role.
A representative for the mogul vehemently denied allegations of non-consensual sex in a statement to the magazine.
“I can’t think of a movie-business scandal of this scale,” author and entertainment writer Mark Harris tweeted on Tuesday. “It pushes into and implicates every corner of the industry.”
The entertainment industry, which Weinstein ruled for so long, is quaking at the revelations from Paltrow, Jolie, and others.
“These are people who everyone knows and everyone respects,” said Anne Thompson, the editor at large of IndieWire. “I thought he was done before.”
Paltrow might have been early in her career when she met Weinstein in that hotel room, but she was hardly an unknown in Hollywood circles.
“Gwyneth Paltrow is a child of Hollywood,” Thompson said. “She’s Steven Spielberg’s goddaughter. This is someone who all the powerful people in Hollywood know very well as a family friend.”
Tuesday’s revelations might be the death knell for the era of Harvey Weinstein.
After last week’s initial report from the Times, which spotlighted accounts from Ashley Judd and sexual harassment settlements given to people like Rose McGowan, condemnations trickled in from Hollywood and Washington D.C. But as the days went by and accusations both continued and escalated, it soon turned into a flood. Now President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Bob Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Judd Apatow, Judi Dench, Glenn Close and more and have all come out with statements against him and in support of the women who are speaking out.
Even Weinstein’s wife of 10 years, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, said Tuesday that she plans to divorce him. The company he helped co-found not only fired him, but its board of directors, including his brother Bob Weinstein, stated that Weinstein’s “alleged actions are antithetical to human decency” and that they had no knowledge of this conduct. The University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts rejected a $5 million pledge from Weinstein that was intended for a female filmmaker endowment.
Weinstein, it seems, has no one left on his side but his lawyers, and possibly Lindsay Lohan, who said in an Instagram story late Tuesday that she feels “very bad” for him.
For now, everyone is waiting to see where the chips will fall and who will be implicated or exposed in what The New Yorker described as a “culture of complicity” that could extend far beyond the confines of Miramax and Weinstein Company employees.
Weinstein himself has not commented since the initial Times expose published last week. Others are wondering whether accusations will come out against more powerful men in the industry, or if real changes might start to be implemented.
“I worry that when predators like Weinstein go away, the whole web of obstacles for women in business remains,” wrote actor Alan Alda on Twitter. “Still lots of work to be done.”
The same thing is on the mind of Cathy Schulman, the president of the advocacy group Women in Film, who says that the culture that allowed Weinstein to operate for so long is related to the vast underrepresentation of women in Hollywood in all aspects of the business.
“One thing I haven’t seen is a lot of statements from the big corporations. I haven’t seen the studios and networks, and agencies make comments. At the end of the day, what are they going to do? It’s those people who make decisions about which content to finance. Are they going to make a change because of all this? That’s the big question mark,” she asked.
“Frankly if everyone is going to speak up and it’s going to be yesterday’s fish wrap and let’s wait for a hiatus and bring the guys back, then what have we really done?”
If in a movie, Harvey Weinstein would probably cut the scenes of sexual harassment that have been described against him. They’re too cliché.
The hotel room seductions, the massage requests, the coercive suggestions. They are, as the Los Angeles Times editorial board called them, “classics of the genre.” The encounters depict a Hollywood culture immediately recognizable, one where power-broker sleaziness is an accepted and acknowledged part of the business.
Hollywood now finds itself in a crisis not just because one of its most prominent moguls has been disgraced and fired from the company he co-founded, but because the allegations against him describe a dark underbelly of the movie business rarely scrutinized. It’s a moment of reckoning for a Hollywood that has faced increasing scrutiny over its treatment of women, from pay equality to fair employment opportunity behind the camera.
Weinstein’s ouster may have been a long time coming, with allegations going back to 1990. (Weinstein is yet to respond to directly though on Thursday he apologized for the pain he’s caused.) But by apparently bringing down such a pivotal figure — the kind that has long been considered untouchable because of industry and legal might — many see a watershed moment for the industry.
“There is a tectonic shift going on with people having the courage to say, ‘No more,’” said Melissa Silverstein, the founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood, an influential blog that advocates for gender equality in Hollywood. “The climate about the conversation in gender in Hollywood has clearly shifted in recent years.”
“There’s no going back anymore,” added Silverstein.
The movie business has found it increasingly difficult to shy away from questions about how it treats women. Studies have shown year after year how few female directors are hired for major productions. Just four percent of the top movies at the box office in 2016 were directed by women, according to the University of California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. The disparity prompted a federal investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
A pay gap, too, has been brought to the forefront by vocal stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone. The best-paid stars, the majority of the executive jobs and most of the filmmakers remain overwhelmingly male in Hollywood.
Such a male-dominated culture could have contributed to the conditions that allowed the alleged incidents involving Weinstein to occur, and to remain quiet.
“It’s been an open secret,” said Greta Gerwig, who makes her directorial debut in the upcoming “Lady Bird.” ″It just makes me really sad, and it makes me really depressed but not surprised. What can you say? I really admire Ashley Judd. It’s scary to do.”
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Weinstein reached settlements with at least eight women over sexual harassment allegations. Judd also described an incident two decades ago in which she said Weinstein invited her to his hotel room, greeted her wearing a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage or if she would watch him shower.
In the aftermath of the expose, many have voiced their support for Judd and other alleged victims. On Monday, some of the actresses who have frequently starred in and won awards in Weinstein’s movies spoke up, including Meryl Streep and Judi Dench.
“One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew,” said Streep, who called Weinstein’s behavior “inexcusable.” ″Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses.”
Jennifer Lawrence added her voice early Tuesday in a statement that said she was never personally harassed and was unaware of allegations of harassment by Weinstein until the Times story was published.
“This kind of abuse is inexcusable and absolutely upsetting,” said Lawrence, who won an Oscar for 2012′s “Silver Linings Playbook,” which was produced by The Weinstein Co.
“My heart goes out to all of the women affected by these gross actions. And I want to thank them for their bravery to come forward,” Lawrence said.
Patricia Arquette, Lena Dunham, Mark Ruffalo, Brie Larson, Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow, Julianne Moore and many others have voiced their support for the women involved. But among Weinstein’s associates, the majority of responders have been women. Others, including Lena Dunham in an op-ed piece for The New York Times, have implored a stronger reaction from male stars and industry leaders.
“The reason I am zeroing in on the men is that they have the least to lose and the most power to shift the narrative, and are probably not dealing with the same level of collective and personal trauma around these allegations,” Dunham wrote.
If this is to be a turning point for Hollywood, more must be done, Rose McGowan told The Hollywood Reporter. The Times reported that McGowan settled with Weinstein in 1997 after an incident in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival. Last year, McGowan said on Twitter that she was raped by a studio boss whom she declined to name.
“Men in Hollywood need to change ASAP,” McGowan said on Sunday. “Hollywood’s power is dying because society has changed and grown, and yet Hollywood male behavior has not. It is so not a good look.”
It’s been an especially bad look lately for realms of the movie business both high and low. In August, allegations of sexual assault led to the exits of two high-ranking executives at Los Angeles’ independent film venue Cinefamily. Last month, the Alamo Drafthouse underwent a scandal of its own, severing ties with Fantastic Fest co-founder Harry Knowles and contributor Devin Faraci over sexual harassment allegations.
Amazon also launched not one but two investigations into Amazon Studios head Roy Price for saying unwanted sexual remarks to “The Man in the High Castle” producer Isa Hackett. Kim Masters, editor-at-large for The Hollywood Reporter, was among those who investigated the incident. Price, she noted, hired the same legal team as Weinstein.
“There’s been a kind of moment in the industry where more and more women are coming forward, and therefore more and more men who may be aware that they haven’t behaved properly are obviously going to be anxious,” said Masters. “This stirs up the resentment of women who put up with this in the past and felt powerless to act. Maybe now they feel more emboldened.”