Weinstein and the Women




                                   By Kenneth Bagnell


    It’s now over 80 years since Shirley Temple released her Hollywood autobiography called Child Star. She was, naturally very busy with its promotion. In all the excitement that goes with such a book, her mother who accompanied her, was led somewhere else out of the way. Shirley –- then very young — was escorted to the office of a man named Arthur Freed who had been a producer on The Wizard of Oz. Someone opened the door for her, she walked in and within two minutes the revered film executive zipped down his pants and — oh well, forget it. I’m just making it clear that the bizarre sexual excesses of Harvey Weinstein are nothing new in the Hollywood culture.

            In brief, Weinstein’s bizarre sexual antics, very unnatural, almost merit the ugly descriptive word pervert. Take note that the word “pervert”– has in the recent past been used as the descriptive for any and all bizarre sexual antics, which was well illustrated by Weinstein in front of the totally  xx year old innocent child. Remember that was long ago and only the eternal knows how many hundreds of (a) children, (b) youth and (c) theatrical people reaching for the stage. They’re first of all innocently entrapped and then sexually exploited, often brutally. It’s vitally important, that we define Weinstein’s sexual obsession, in order that as time goes on, his antics are understood as highly distinct and not just casual relationships between friends.

       His weird sexual habit has circulated for years, and was wryly spoken of when using the descriptive “casting couch” which, in his world, meant more than you think.  Hollywood observers used double meaning phrases when they spoke of his film production. In 2005 one of the many proverbs was: “If Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party, don’t dare go.” Or else it was this from other females:  “I’m not afraid of anyone in show business. I turned down Harvey Weinstein on no less than three occasions out of five…”   Things got serious in the fall of 2017 when an NBC correspondent got fed up and reported in The New Yorker further claims that Mr. Weinstein had sexually assaulted or harassed 13 women and assaulted three of them. Some established actresses thereby passed on their suspicions after they had rejected his approaches. In turn, Weinstein is reported either to have four of them dropped from projects or else he persuaded them to do so. Things were really heating up.

        Mind you, he has defenders, which is both fair and, in fact, benevolent in Weinstein’s dark lifestyle. One is Woody Allen, either an acquaintance or close friend of Weinstein. As Woody Allen sees it, he says it’s all a “witch hunt,” even though he also views Weinstein as a sick man. (He should leave the latter to psychiatrists or psychologists.). In a sense, his entrance to the ugly situation is not without a bit of his own discolor for sad to say, he was accused back in the early 1990s, of sexually abusing his own seven year old daughter, which naturally has diminished his persona, especially given the fact that his other children, Dylan and Ronan Farrow, keep on accusing both their father and the film industry.

       What do conventional citizens learn from this highly ugly situation? In the main it’s not just an incident, it’s a gross excess. On the days to come, the broad society should recognize, if nothing else, its exceptionalism. This is far far from being, what our society calls “an affair”.   In most cases such incidents pass away after a few dates and dinners, but there are, according to social worker friends, growing numbers of intimate relations that undermine even good marriages. But virtually all of us have never even known a person who has had not just serial relationship but serial relations. I truly expect that we can wager that Harvey Weinstein has set the record. I would not be surprised if his best friend knows the score. The recent result of it all is a very sad tragedy: fired by his firm; wife has left; under FBI investigation; friends vanishing; more and more women, now 20 new allegations of sexual misconduct, here and there accusing of rape; called “a creep” by NY Times; his company fears closure; and so on and on. All this dreadful development is most threatening of his firm. It has already sent out a signal that, “seeking a potential sale of all or a significant portion of the company’s assets.”

        As for his company, run by brother Bob, it’s facing a terrible condition virtually all of it brought about by his scandalous promiscuity —or attempt at it — which becomes more public every day, causing ever deepening doubt of its future. In fact, the ever industrious New York Times, went ahead with seeking the names of the women to whom he made sexual approaches. Here’s the list: Ashley Judd, Zoe Brock, Rose McGowan, Laura Madden, Liza Campbell, Lauren Sivan, Asia Argento, Jessica Barth, Emma de Caunes, Dawn Dunning, Mira Sorvino, Lucia Stoller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Roseanna Arquette, Judith Godreche, Katherine Kendall, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Lea Seydoux, Clkaire Forlani, Florence Darel, Sophie Dix, Kate Beckinsale, Melissa Sagemiller, Minka Kelly and, like it or not, there are still others.in the list. (These are women he tried but was rejected and so we’re left wondering if any complied.) One other example is Tomi Ann Roberts: Roberts told The New York Times that she met Weinstein as a college junior, waiting tables, and that Weinstein urged her to audition for a movie he planned to direct. She said that he asked her to meet him at his hotel. Yes indeed, and when she arrived Weinstein was nude in the bathtub and told her that she would give a much better audition is she were comfortable “getting naked in front of him since her potential character in the movie had to have a topless scene….” Roberts said she apologized to Weinstein but later felt she’d been manipulated and doubted that she was ever under consideration for a role: “I was nobody! How had I ever thought otherwise?”

     The list of the ladies suggests that not many took him up on his hope they’d get naked and then well…… As to the list it had impact on the Weinstein marriage. They parted. He made this statement about a week ago: “There has been a lot of pain for my family that I take responsibility for it. I sat down with my wife Georgina, who I love more than anything and discussed what was best for our family. We discussed the possibility of a separation and I encouraged her to do what was in her heart. In the end she made the decision to separate. I understand. I love her and I love our children and hopefully when I am better I will be in their lives again. I support her decision, I am in counselling and perhaps, when I am better, we can rebuild.” That’s a lot of hope, but you never know. As Martin Luther King once put it, “We have to accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” A lot of people will be waiting.

Submit a Comment