Silent film stars

Why was self-righteous Hollywood so slow to condemn its own?

Hollywood tries to lecture us about guns. Have you seen how many bullets and bombs they go through in depicting the most obscene violence known to man?

 

Now, after years of claiming the high ground on gender issues – but never quite mustering the chutzpah to banish serial womanizer Bill Clinton from the “cool kids” list, or his wife for attacking his victims instead of him – it comes out that a producer’s sexual harassment of women, and perhaps more, was the worst-kept secret in Tinseltown.

Now you know why there’s so much glass in those Malibu houses.

Now that the powerful Harvey Weinstein has been called out for allegedly harassing women for years, there are allegations of a conspiracy of silence in La-La Land.

“Somehow the whispers concerning his alleged hotel-room and workplace abuses never threatened his next big deal, industry award or accolades, which included an honorary Commander of the British Empire appointment,” writes The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg.

“The real story didn’t surface until now because too many people in the intertwined news and entertainment industries had too much to gain from Mr. Weinstein for too long. Across a run of more than 30 years, he had the power to mint stars, to launch careers, to feed the ever-famished content beast.”

“This industry is passionate about causes,” Rutenberg quoted Kim Masters, editor at large at The Hollywood Reporter, “but when it comes down to doing business, they’re definitely capable of holding their noses.”

“Shamefully, there is a long tradition of disgusting harassment of women who try to make it in the movie business,” Rutenberg writes.

“Hollywood isn’t the only industry still abiding behavior that never had a rightful place in civilized society. Not at all. But it stands out because the industry often holds itself up as a force for moral good …”

How deep does the hypocrisy go?

Actress Rose McGowan – who herself reportedly received a $100,000 settlement from Weinstein in 1997, one of at least eight known such settlements – has started pointing fingers. One report alleged actors Matt Damon and Russell Crowe personally tried to bury a previous attempt at an exposé on Weinstein. McGowan, noting that, and the names of Weinstein Co. board members, tweeted, “They knew. They funded. They advised. They covered up. They must be exposed. They must resign.”

“Why has Hollywood stayed silent about Harvey Weinstein for so long?” asked a headline in The Telegraph of London.

“It’s been extremely quiet – almost radio silence,” Variety editor Claudia Eller, was quoted.

“Welcome to Hollywood,” writes Brooks Barnes in The New York Times, “where people love to wag self-righteous fingers – over the past year, awards shows have become a platform for industry bigwigs to rail against the Trump administration – but run for cover whenever the topic casts show business in an unflattering light.”

An editor of The Hollywood Reporter, writes Brooks, “pointed to culpability as an explanation – executives, agents and celebrities who knew or had heard that Mr. Weinstein was behaving this way toward women and did nothing.”

“Ladies of Hollywood,” McGowan tweeted, “your silence is deafening.”

As it was with the Clintons.

 

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