I don’t know much about Harvey Weinstein. Although I do know that he is a famous film producer, I am not sure whether I have ever seen any of his films. In view of the torrent of sordid allegations begin to surface about his behaviour towards many women, I rather hope I haven’t. People like him make me ashamed to be a man.
I think I may have seen him on a TV chat show, perhaps Graham Norton, and perhaps heard him on the Chris Evans show on Radio Two, but I can’t be sure. I have seen pictures of him lately and they kind of ring a bell, but not a very loud one. Clearly in the movie industry, Weinstein is, or rather was, A Big Deal.
His alleged sexual activities have been sick-making to read. It will be a matter for others, including perhaps the courts, to decide whether Weinstein was involved in non-consensual sex of any kind, something which he denies. Nonetheless, it is hard to believe there is a little fire beneath the smoke.
Now I have learned more about the man, I understand rather better just how powerful he is. A major producer makes or breaks careers. If you were a young, aspiring female actor and you knew that the only way you could “get on” would be to perform a sexual act on a major industry figure, how would you react, knowing that if you failed to oblige you might never work again? I hope you will agree that this is a repulsive thing to even think about.
Emma Thompson described the allegations as being the tip of a very large iceberg. I can believe this. Historically, the movie industry in particular has been run at the behest of rich, powerful men. The casting couch was not part of folklore: it really happened. The allegations about Weinstein concern behaviour that is plainly institutionalised in Hollywood.
“What attracted you to the multimillionaire Harvey Weinstein?” might be a valid question. I am not personally attracted to him and, if I am being brutally honest, I would be surprised if the apparent legions of young female actors were any more sexually disposed to him as me. He’s a fat, balding 65 year old man; George Clooney he ain’t. I guess there is someone out there for everyone but for someone like Weinstein to attract female attention – well, there must be something more to it than looks alone?
This is nothing to do with a sex addiction, as some have suggested. It’s about power. It is the age-old story of male power over women. Change might be coming, but clearly in places like Hollywood, it’s coming very slowly, if it’s coming at all.
It is absolutely fine to be sexually attracted to someone of the opposite or same sex. That’s what makes the world go round. It’s when the boundaries are pushed too far, when power takes over. It’s another example of sleeping with the boss to get on. That boss is almost always a man and here we have the ultimate terrible example.
Hollywood needs to have a long, hard look at itself but so does all of society everywhere. I suspect that Weinstein will never work again regardless of what happens next. The world doesn’t need men like him. Law breakrer or not, he’s a pervert and he deserves nothing but our contempt.