Hollywood. It’s the neighborhood that conservatives love to hate but desperately wish to occupy. It is the home of privilege, excess, and money by the truckload. And it is liberal to its capitalist core.
Hollywood is the primary manufacturer of our modern American popular culture, and would be its arbiter and enforcer too. It is where people with “a platform” talk trash about people without one, and give “scathing” monologues on topics with which they have little familiarity and no expertise. The land of unearned credibility and undue influence.
It’s also a long and comfortable home to degeneracy, sexual harassment and assault, and of course, to rape.
The latest ugly sex news from Hollywood involves Harvey Weinstein, a mega-player, producer, and one among the mighty panoply of gods who reign over the California Olympus. Like Zeus and Roman Polanski before him, a serial harasser of women and sexual predator, according to many accusations. His guilt, through his actions, he is almost plainly admitting.
According to the reports and accusations, it is a three decades long career of misdeeds and abuse. The casting couch mentality dragged once more into, you’ll forgive the phrase, the limelight. Hollywood’s sordid history made plain and public yet again.
But let’s not forget, it is also the liberal la-la-land, and Weinstein knows this all too well. The Scene is political as much as it is patriarchal and predatory, and the major league players have spent equally long learning how that works as they have learning how to corrupt youth and beauty. Weinstein is an expert in Hollywood, and so an expert in Hollywood liberalism.
Which is why you should realize, upon reading his statement, that he issued it in expectation of it working flawlessly. Expectation that comes from his experience and knowledge, his expertise. He expects this to work. This transparent ugly thing. This:
I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.
I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone.
I realized some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.
I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.
Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go. That is my commitment. My journey now will be t o learn about myself and conquer my demons. Over the last year I’ve asked Lisa Bloom to tutor me and she’s put together a team of people. I’ve brought on therapists and I plant to take a leave of absence from my company and to deal with this issue had on. I so respect all women and regret what happened. I hope that my actions will speak louder than words and that one day we will all be able to earn their trust and sit down together with Lisa to learn more. Jay Z wrote in 4:44 “I’m not the man I thought I was and I better be that man for my children.” The same is true for me. I want a second chance in the community but I know I’ve got work to do to earn it. I have goals that are now priorities. Trust me, this isn’t an overnight process. I’ve been trying to do this for 10 years and this is a wake-up call. I cannot be more remorseful about the people I hurt and I plan to do right by all of them.
I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental; it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.
I’m a liberal. I’m #TheResistance. I’m you.
You don’t need me to map out the virtues he signals in here, they are plain and apparent (as intended.) No, this is about his expectation. He believed this would work. Believes it will. And it might, we’ll see.
He has ample reason to think so. The peasants are as forgiving of the gods as the gods themselves. Time and again, being a somebody in Hollywood has meant total immunity against charges of chauvinism, misogyny, or sexual misconduct. Indeed, it is that immunity that is the operating basis for his thirty years of uninterrupted lechery. The fear of crossing him, the pressure to conform to Hollywood’s norms, and the simply dynamic of authority are the means by which he practiced his harm.
The list of examples is familiar: Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Al Gore …
It’s not just a Hollywood expectation, though, it’s separately a liberal one. Bill Clinton is the obvious example. Ted Kennedy. It’s worth it to allow a little rape and murder if you vote the right way.
What, does that sound callous? Well don’t worry, I didn’t come up with it. No, that was Melissa Lafsky writing for the Huffington Post who said that. Not, mind you, as a criticism. She really thought Mary Jo Kopechne, whom Lafsky referred to as a “footnote”, might think her drowning death worth it for allowing all that sweet liberal legislating on the part of Ted Kennedy over the years.
Yes, he has ample reason to think his strategy will be effective. It may not be, of course. There are some signs he won’t get away with it, that times have changed. It was the New York Times who published the article and accusations, after all. But he has every reason in the world to think it will work.
Incidentally, I said above that Weinstein is practically admitting his guilt. How? This response is how. It’s the effort of a caught man trying to convince the cops to let him off with a warning because he’s just so worth it. This is written in a guilty hand, by someone with experience getting out of such things. It’s practically pleading guilty. That’s how.
Not to say he isn’t trying to deny specific allegations, because he definitely is according to his lawyer Lisa Bloom. She’s a fiercely feminist lawyer, by the way, specializing in sexual harassment. You may recognize her name; she was instrumental in bringing down Bill O’Reilly over sexual harassment charges.
But Bill doesn’t vote the right way. Weinstein is “directing his anger” at the NRA.
See? It’s already working.
Because he’s not a predator, you see. He’s a liberal. And those are mutually exclusive concepts. That’s what Weinstein thinks. How many others will agree?