The biggest open secret in Hollywood was exposed this week when Harvey Weinstein’s predatory sexual behavior came to light. The inconvenient truth is that those on the left feign concern for women’s rights, but sat silently when women in Hollywood were victimized by their own.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan, Mira Sorvino, and many other actresses and assistants have come forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault, unwanted advances, or as witnesses of such behavior by Weinstein. The New Yorker details the allegations of rape while Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are among the women in a New York Times article published yesterday with details of unwanted sexual advances and harassment.
Reading their accounts is nauseating.
If all true, this was a well-concerted, decades-long campaign by a man in authority using his powerful position and connections to force young women into complying with his prurient demands. It appears that those who came forward faced retaliation and others were hushed into silence out of fear. The New Yorker sums it up:
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…
Politicians on the left are starting to distance themselves now, but why did it take decades for these people, who claim to be the champions of women’s rights, to come out against Weinstein?
For example, Hillary Clinton broke her silence today and it was a tweet through her communications director:
“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.”
That was tepid in contrast to the harsh words she has had for President Trump.
Weinstein is a longtime supporter of Democratic candidates and progressive causes. He’s considered a “prolific” fundraiser giving more than $1.4 million in political contributions since the 1992 election cycle and to mostly Democratic lawmakers. He hosted fundraisers for the Clintons and former President Barak Obama. He contributed over $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. Other high-profile recipients of Weinstein’s largess such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker vow to give equivalent sums to charities.
The Obamas have their own relationship with Weinstein. In the past Michelle Obama said of Weinstein following his efforts:
“I want to start by thanking Harvey Weinstein for organizing this amazing day. Harvey. This is possible because of Harvey. He is a wonderful human being, a good friend and just a powerhouse.”
The Obama’s oldest daughter Malia interned for Weinstein this year, where unlike other interns she reportedly read through and judged scripts for staff to consider.
Maybe they are giving their long-time friend and supporter the benefit of the doubt. What about the women that harassed and allegedly did worse to?
No one woman should have to trade her dignity for a shot at her dreams.
Unfortunately, a double standard has operated for powerful men that transcend politics. The media was unforgiving when allegations emerged about conservatives in media such as Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes, yet they turned a blind eye to Weinstein for so long. We can only gather that they had too much to gain from Weinstein or lose if they challenged him.