Thursday’s New York Times bombshell, which has effectively ended Oscar-winning producer and Democrat super-donor Harvey Weinstein’s career, contains two equally disturbing pieces of news, only one of which the national media will report and explore.
The first, of course, involves three decades of sexual misconduct allegations against Weinstein, who has released a broad statement accepting “responsibility” for his behavior coupled with the claim that the Times got some things wrong.
The second bombshell, the one our national media is already sweeping under the rug, is that for twenty-plus years, many in Hollywood believed Weinstein was abusing his power to procure, harass, and manipulate young women, and no one said anything — not even the powerful.
The Times’ story opens with an allegation from former-movie star and strident leftwing feminist Ashley Judd:
Harvey Weinstein invited Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what the young actress expected to be a business breakfast meeting. Instead, he had her sent up to his room, where he appeared in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower, she recalled in an interview.
Mr. Weinstein soon issued invitation after invitation, she said. Could he give her a massage? When she refused, he suggested a shoulder rub. She rejected that too, she recalled. He steered her toward a closet, asking her to help pick out his clothing for the day, and then toward the bathroom. Would she watch him take a shower? she remembered him saying.
“I said no, a lot of ways, a lot of times, and he always came back at me with some new ask,” Ms. Judd said. “It was all this bargaining, this coercive bargaining.”
According to Judd, this disturbing incident occurred in 1997 while she was shooting Kiss the Girls, the movie that, for a short while, would make her a major star. Then comes her most damning admission:
In speaking out about her hotel episode, Ms. Judd said in a recent interview, “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”
In other words, in Judd’s own mind, Weinstein had not only harassed her, but did so to numerous women. And she said nothing. Even at the peak of her Hollywood powers, she remained silent.
If the Times’ article proves accurate, Judd is far from alone. Over the course of a three-decade career, Weinstein reportedly settled eight sexual harassment complaints, including one with actress Rose McGowan, who presents herself today as the wokest of wokened feminists.
The Times claims that McGowan’s silence was purchased for a mere $100,000.
Silence, silence, silence… And all of this indefensible silence reportedly allowed Weinstein to use and abuse his company and staff as a sort of sexual harassment perpetual motion machine:
[A former employee] suspected that she and other female Weinstein employees, she wrote, were being used to facilitate liaisons with “vulnerable women who hope he will get them work.”
This pattern of alleged harassment went well beyond a leer, an indecent proposal, or ham-handed pass from a clumsy fat guy. It was downright creepy:
In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself. The women, typically in their early or mid-20s and hoping to get a toehold in the film industry, said he could switch course quickly — meetings and clipboards one moment, intimate comments the next. One woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.
Worse still, there are also allegations of outright sexual assault. In March of 2015, Italian model Ambra Battilana told police, “Weinstein had grabbed her breasts after asking if they were real and put his hands up her skirt.” Another settlement followed. More silence.
All these powerful people, all of these alleged victims, and no one went public.
So what about the entertainment media? Where the hell were they?
Variety’s editor-in-chief Claudia Eller told CNN Thursday that this was “the story we all tried to get for decades.” She added, “We knew there were settlements, but there was no paper trail. And unfortunately, alleged victims contacted refused to go on the record.”
But here is the thing; according to Peter Biskind’s 2004 non-fiction book Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film, Weinstein manipulated and pocketed the entertainment media in extraordinary ways. He hired countless “journalists” to work for his company in various capacities, offered them glamorous opportunities, and oftentimes threatened to pull advertising from publications working on negative stories. An entertainment media starved for Oscar campaign dollars simply could not afford to lose Hollywood’s most prolific Oscar-winner and advertiser.
Finally, there is just the simple truth that Weinstein’s appalling behavior was no secret in Hollywood. Whether it was his explosive temper, his bullying of anyone he could bully, or the alleged sexual harassment and assault, everyone knew, and no one did anything to stop it.
No one expects a vulnerable, fresh-off-the-bus-from-Ohio wannabe actress to drop a dime on a Harvey Weinstein. And we will probably never know just how many insecure and desperate Ohio girls he procured over the decades. But silence is complicity and a whole lot of powerful people, by their own admission, remained silent, even though they believed these Ohio girl-victims were piling up like cord wood.
And now we come to the part the national media will never-ever-ever go near…
You can bet the house that Bill and Hillary Clinton knew all about the rumors surrounding Weinstein’s indefensible behavior, and so did Barack and Michelle Obama, and so did every single Democrat who benefitted from Weinstein’s donations and mega-fundraising.
But they still took the money, didn’t they?
Of course they did.
And even though they knew the truth, Variety still took Weinstein’s advertising money.
And even though, going all the way back to 1997, she believed Weinstein was a monstrous serial-harasser, Ashley Judd still worked with him in 2002’s Frida and 2009’s Crossing Over — still put on a pussy hat and lashed out against “sexist” President Trump before she ever went public with what she knew for a fact about Weinstein.
And even as the mainstream and entertainment media, even as Bigtime celebs called for the heads of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly over alleged behavior that pales in comparison, they kept Harvey’s dirty little secret.
So why go public now?
Weinstein is 65 years-old, his company is reportedly going broke, and he has not produced a hit in nearly five years. In other words, he is an aging, washed-up hasbeen who can no longer do anything for Hollywood’s Ashley Judds and Varietys.
Harvey Weinstein’s world did not collapse this week because oh-so progressive Hollywood suddenly grew a conscience over all of those Ohio girls.
This is about score-settling, not feminism.
This is about payback, not making the world a better place.
These are bad people who allowed a bad man to get away with doing bad things for as long as he was useful to them — as long as the price paid by the Ohio girls was made up for in campaign donations to The Cause.
Rotting leftwing Hollywood, the co-opted entertainment media, the Democrat Party and its national media enablers… a wicked and entrenched system, enablers all, who are every bit as guilty as good ole’ Harvey.