Editorial By Mike Bibb
How about that rascally Harvey?
Who? Do I mean the recent hurricane, you may be wondering?
Well, I guess he is sort of a hurricane to the female gender. Actually, I’m speaking of the overrated Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; aka the terror of the Hollywood casting couch.
OK, I realize a tropical storm exhausts itself in a few days and leaves in its wake extensive damage. Weinstein, on the other hand, never seems to exhaust himself. At least not in the last 30 years or so. His affliction upon society is probably more psychological than physical.
Hollywood is far removed from the Gila Valley – in both culture and behavior. Yet, the entertainment community exerts an inordinate amount of influence upon our society. The public’s infatuation with the Hollywood crowd is addicting, as evidenced by weekly tabloid exposures, television reports, celebrity accounts, awards programs and other venues disclosing the motion picture industry’s rich and famous.
It’s a common perception Hollywood’s elite represents a minor minority of the average working class of the business – both in front of and behind the lens. In this respect, it doesn’t operate much differently than any other big enterprise.
Also, like similar corporate organizations, there is always a few bad apples in a position of authority. However, Weinstein seems to have taken the concept to a whole new level, and in the process corrupted not only himself but also many of his associates.
Within the past several weeks, dozens of women have accused Harvey of being a sexual predator. Apparently, this wasn’t Hollywood’s best-kept secret or even a secret at all. While acting shocked and dismayed – after all, “acting” is their profession – old-time filmmaking colleagues are feigning an air of indignation over Weinstein’s sexual proclivities while at the same time knowing full well his alleged offenses were a recognized way of life.
The hypocrisy is stunning, but not unusual. Hollywood exists in a cleverly conceived bubble, often exempting itself from the norms of the outside world. Things are just done differently and the rules of society are not always applicable. “Hollywood is Hollywood” the saying goes as if that infantile explanation excuses conventional decency and personal decorum. It doesn’t of course, but it comforts the psyche of those immersed in this make-believe cocoon.
Unfortunately, Weinstein’s nefarious influences extended beyond the guarded gates of the movie studios. Pandering to the media to maintain a positive relationship and donating big sums of money to various liberal politicians and political causes helped guarantee Harvey would remain in their good graces, even though they might have been aware of his double life and the liability he could create should his antics be exposed.
His phony-baloney universe started unraveling when women of all ages began going public with graphic depictions of Harvey’s purported forced sexual encounters, harassment and exploitations of aspiring actresses. A few minutes or hours behind closed doors with Weinstein could launch a career in Hollywood. If, by chance, the young lady actually possessed some acting talent, then all the better.
Conversely, those who refused his casting couch proposals would often be escorted off the property or rarely shown a script.
Apparently, Weinstein got away with this nonsense for over three decades, further evidence money and power – when in the wrong hands – continues to influence and corrupt.
Seeking to dodge legal entanglements, Weinstein reportedly checked into a “rehabilitation” center in Scottsdale, only to leave a week later. It was either the quickest deviate sexual recovery in recorded medical history, or he’s simply attempting to further avoid responsibility for his misdeeds.
The views and opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.