Category Archive 'Harvey Weinstein'
25 Jan 2020
Amber Athey argues that even Harvey Weinstein is entitled to due process justice, including a reasonable statute of limitations on complaints about sexual activities.
At the height of #MeToo, most people were acutely aware very few accusations of actual rape or violence were being put forth, if any. #MeToo brought every bad actor and hypocrite out of the woodwork. After hundreds of allegations tumbling out over the months, the takeaway now seems to be that there isnâ€™t a rape epidemic in Hollywood, but that Hollywood is an oversexed industry where powerful men routinely expect sexual favors in exchange for career advancement, and that countless people happily went along with this unspoken agreement until it proved either no longer beneficial, or it became more advantageous to turn against.
Take #MeToo dignitary Asia Argento. We now know she was up to her neck in it on both sides of the user-and-used dynamic, after a young actor accused her of getting him drunk, raping him, and paying him off $380,000 when he was only 17. Every time one of these high-profile allegations blows up, itâ€™s either because itâ€™s not true, or the woman was doing exactly the same thing if not something just as bad.
Who honestly didnâ€™t realize Hollywood worked like that? All you have to do his hang out with a bunch of drama club nerds to see how weirdly horny they are. Most actors will, literally, do anything, and sacrifice all principles, to advance their desperate and difficult careers. Which is what most women did in Hollywood to get where they are: whatever it took.
In Hollywood, home of the young and the beautiful, it takes sex to get where you are, and always has. Ever wonder why thereâ€™s no big gay #MeToo movement? Iâ€™m not referring to the homosexual pedophile epidemic in Hollywood, which has been briskly swept under the rug. The casting couch must have been the same for gays, but for men sex is more transactional. We are better satisfied by porn â€” which women generally like less â€” and hookers â€” who women generally donâ€™t hire. Sex is a currency for men, just as it is for women, but we donâ€™t give it special emotional significance like women do. Thatâ€™s why the women of #MeToo tend to be so angry. They are ashamed of themselves for moral and emotional compromises that still haunt them today, and this outpouring gave them license to cleanse themselves of their self-loathing. The men they diddled for movie roles, by comparison, barely remember the girlsâ€™ names.
The hoary and pitted face of all this is, of course, Harvey Weinstein, appearing this week in Manhattan criminal court hunched over a walker with tennis balls on the legs. On Wednesday the prosecution rolled out grisly descriptions of sexual encounters, but news reports have failed to mention if the prosecution alleges any of the women actually said, â€˜noâ€™, or â€˜stopâ€™. The defense, in turn, spent an hour reading text messages and emails between the accusers and Weinstein, often flirty and loving after the encounters.
â€˜You donâ€™t call Harvey Weinstein a predator in 2020 when you wanted to introduce him to your mother in 2008â€™, defense attorney Damon Cheronis said. â€˜You donâ€™t tell him that you love him in 2016, that youâ€™re tired of being a booty call in 2017, and call him a predator in 2020â€™. …
Itâ€™s beginning to sound very familiar. Weâ€™re told to â€˜believe all womenâ€™, yet Hollywoodâ€™s excesses and Ferragamo feminism made real rape victims seem less credible, and thatâ€™s a monstrous thing. Real victims never make it to left-wing journalists with an anti-male ax to grind two decades later, because real victims call the police before they call their publicist.
This week Annabella Sciora testified that Harvey Weinstein forced himself on her during the winter of 1993-1994. (NPR)
Obviously, we live in a country no longer governed by rational adults. No rational adult would consider judiciable a “He-Said-She-Said” complaint pertaining to something that occurred a quarter of a century ago.
12 Aug 2019
Andrew Mahon reports that David Mamet’s new play, Bitter Wheat, upset the establishment critics.
David Mametâ€™s latest play Bitter Wheat opened in Londonâ€™s West End in June to largely negative reviews, which is somewhat surprising, because itâ€™s terrific. Then again, maybe itâ€™s not so surprising. Most theatre critics are bleeding-heart leftists, and following his embrace of a more conservative attitude, they simply regard David Mamet as a traitor. Itâ€™s petty, but it really is that simple. …
John Malkovich is appropriately disgusting in the lead role of Barney Fein, clearly inspired by Harvey Weinstein, a loathsome, vile human being, who treats everyone around him like crap, manipulating and blackmailing his way to money, sex, fame and awards. He has no redeeming qualities â€” his appearance (complete with a flabby fatsuit) is grotesque. I would surmise that Mamet and Malkovich both have enough of a personal acquaintance with Harvey Weinstein that this comic exaggeration isnâ€™t all that far from the truth. Weinstein signifies the apex of the rotten, moralistic, hypocritical Hollywood money-making machine, and Bitter Wheat is a damning indictment not only of Weinstein, but of all of Hollywood-NY-liberal-progressive-Democratic-leftist elitism. …
Many leftists are obviously more virtuous than Weinstein on the personal side but on the corporate side, they canâ€™t match his credentials. He supports all the “right” causes with his considerable fortune. A brief look at Weinsteinâ€™s Wikipedia page reveals that he has been active in fighting poverty, AIDS, juvenile diabetes, and multiple sclerosis, and has served on the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, while advocating for gun control laws and universal healthcare. Heâ€™s a left-wing saint. In the play, Fein supports a charity for immigrants, passionately rejecting the term “illegal immigrant,” and lauds the bravery of migrants seeking a better life. He expresses his corporate leftist virtue most directly when heâ€™s trying to persuade the reluctant young actress, played by Ioanna Kimbook, to sleep with him, commenting with dismay, “Iâ€™m not sure you realise just how much money I give to the Democrat Party.” The audience exploded with laughter; Iâ€™ll bet the critics fumed.
06 Mar 2019
Oh, me! Oh, my! Can Harvard students possibly bear up and survive in a climate in which their own House Master/Faculty Dean (and Law Professor) proposes to represent a cad like Harvey Weinstein accused of numberless cases of crude advances, sexual harrassment, and generally being a masher?
Harvard Crimson asks that important question, and apparently is asking it on behalf of the management of Harvard itself. Presumably in the case of unfavorable responses, Harvard’s Administration will lay in a copious supply of smelling salts, fainting couches, and gallon jugs of Lydia Pinkham’s. There will doubtless as well be long queues of desperate Harvard students lining up for counseling.
“Doctor, how could he? How could he represent that… that beast?”
Harvard Collegeâ€™s institutional research office sent an anonymous, online survey to Winthrop House residents Tuesday as part of a review process aimed at addressing students’ concerns about Faculty Dean Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.â€™s decision to represent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as he faces charges of sexual assault.
The survey asks students a series of questions about whether they feel welcome in the House. It also asks them to score Winthrop on a five-point scale based on whether they believe the House is â€œhostileâ€ or â€œfriendly,â€ â€œcontentiousâ€ or â€œcollegial,â€ and â€œsexistâ€ or â€œnon-sexist,â€ among other metrics.
Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced that former Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman â€™67 would lead a â€œclimate reviewâ€ in an email to Winthrop residents on Feb. 25. Khurana wrote that the College decided to launch the review after hearing concerns surrounding support structures for students in the House following Sullivanâ€™s decision to defend Weinstein.
Harvard College Institutional Research wrote in its Tuesday email that in trying to examine the â€œclimateâ€ of Winthrop, the survey will use Pennsylvania State University professor Sue Rankinâ€™s definition of climate: â€œthe current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.â€
In response to Sullivanâ€™s decision to join Weinsteinâ€™s defense team, some students started protests and wrote open letters calling for his removal as faculty dean.
The survey sent Tuesday begins with a question about studentsâ€™ level of satisfaction with the Houseâ€™s climate. It continues by asking students to indicate their level of agreement â€” from â€œStrongly Agreeâ€ to â€œStrongly Disagreeâ€ â€” with a series of statements evaluating their experiences in the House.
Some of the statements read â€œI feel I belong in Winthrop Houseâ€ and â€œWinthrop House has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.â€
Another question asks students to rank the House on 12 different characteristics including disrespectful or respectful, elitist or non-elitist, homophobic or non-homophobic, and racist or non-racist.
The survey closes with two demographic questions and a space for additional comments.
The College will use the results gathered from Winthrop affiliates to guide any further action, Khurana wrote in his original email.
I try to imagine the Yale Daily News, back in 1966, inquiring if we “felt welcome” in our Yale freshman dorms or residential colleges, and I have to hold on to the arms of my chair not to fall out of it laughing.
Can you imagine not feeling welcome in one of the poshest, most luxurious undergraduate colleges in the country and the world?
I am reminded of the comedy film, in which the upper class mother points out to her unhappy adolescent daughter: “You know, you will never again, in the rest of your life, be this rich or this thin!”
A friend of mine used to remark ruefully that life after Yale amounted to constant struggle to try to live as well as you did as a Yale undergraduate.
04 May 2018
The Telegraph causes jaws to drop by telling us what might have been:
The gentle, meandering drama of the Lord of the Rings trilogy won Peter Jackson and his team 17 Oscars and a place in the cinematic pantheon. But the fantasy epic very nearly didn’t happen: if Harvey Weinstein had his way, JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth would have been condensed into a snappy two-hour film, directed by none other than Quentin Tarantino.
Tarantino, known for his gratuitous, cartoonish violence and provocative scripts in films such as Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction, was the back-up Weinstein had in store after Lord of the Rings director delivered a two-film script to Weinstein costing $12 million in development. This, Weinstein said, according to a new book on the film, was a â€œwasteâ€.
â€œHarvey was like, â€˜youâ€™re either doing this or youâ€™re not. Youâ€™re out. And I got Quentin ready to direct itâ€™,â€ Ken Kamins, a producer who worked for Weinstein on the project, told Ian Nathan, author of Anything You Can Imagine: Peter Jackson & The Making of Middle-Earth.
Of course, Quentin’s wiggerish devotion to African-American thuggery would probably have made his version of LOTR a lot more friendly to the Orc point of view. And the casting would have been so different! Samuel Jackson would make a great Uruk-hai chief, but Quentin would probably have made him Saruman. We might have had Brad Pitt for Aragorn and Steve Buscemi as Gollum. Uma would have definitely made a hotter Arwen or Galadriel. The possibilities are fascinating and frightening.
04 Feb 2018
Maureen Dowd serves up Uma Thurman’s #MeToo testimonial.
We learn from all this that Uma is a true New Yorker, unable to drive, and scared out of her wits at the prospect of managing Maxwell Smart’s joke sports car, the Kharmann Ghia! Watch Uma go all over the road before she crashes it.
Uma plays a superwoman assassin in “Kill Bill,” but, alas! we learn here that she’s a hypochondriac (“my permanently damaged neck and my screwed-up knees.â€) and a whiner. (“As she sits by the fire on a second night when we talk until 3 a.m., tears begin to fall down her cheeks. She brushes them away.”)
Maureen Dowd clearly sat up and listened to Uma’s BS until 4 A.M. You know what that means don’t you?
20 Oct 2017
As Harvey Weinstein’s career circles the drain, Mark Steyn amuses us with a celebratory trashing of Weinstein’s cinematic masterpiece: “Good Will Hunting” (1997).
[I]n Good Will Hunting, the eponymous Will, a genius, demonstrates said genius by memorizing a book simply by turning the pages and regurgitating a lot of information at extremely fast speed. This is a very Hollywood idea of genius: there isn’t a studio exec in town who wouldn’t love a kid in the outer office who could read an entire novel over lunch and then pitch it in eight seconds. …
The writers of Good Will Hunting are, in fact, actors â€” Matt Damon, who back in 1998 was best known for The Rainmaker, and Ben Affleck, who’d turned in a very dreary performance in the boy-meets-lesbian romance Chasing Amy. That said, they had their own peculiar genius: The script is said to have started out as an action thriller about a race against time to avert mass destruction. Then, at Rob Reiner’s suggestion, the boys converted it into an all-talk-and-no-action touchy-feely cockle-warmer about male bonding. The final version trembles on the brink of a dysfunction-of- the-week TV movie but never quite dives in, thanks mainly to Gus Van Sant’s direction and two oral-sex jokes.
Will, played by Matt, is now a janitor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, loitering with his mop and pail by the blackboard and anonymously solving the most complicated mathematical theorems, like:
Î£ = (y-Â¿) x zzz*/7 (@Â§Ã§) [$$$$]
(I quote from memory)
Actually, that one isn’t too difficult, as it represents the precise formula for late Nineties Weinstein Oscar bait, where zzz = upscale Brit source material, Â¿ = Gwyneth Paltrow’s breasts and Â§ =the differential between a film directed by Quentin Tarantino and a film with a cameo by Quentin Tarantino. The line represents the line that sensitive artistic executives know not to cross, and the a=actress and Â¶=Harvey’s head peeking out from the bathroom door.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. Good Will Hunting’s trump card is Mr Damon, who struts through the film with the cockiness of a good-looking serial killer. He’s not very plausible as a genius, but then he’s not very plausible as a janitor either, so it all evens out. What he has is a breezy intensity and the same kind of bantam rooster quality as the young Cagney, albeit gussied up and airbrushed, as was the Nineties’ wont. With the exception of his three minutes singing “Scottie Doesn’t Know” in Eurotrip, this remains his greatest screen performance.
As for Will himself, he’s merely the umpteenth variation on Forrest Gump â€” this time an asshole savant: for all his facility with physics and history, he’d rather drink beer, beat guys to a bloody pulp and say ‘f**k’ a lot. The film is unusually strong in these scenes. It doesn’t sentimentalize the lads as poets in the raw, held back only by the iniquities of class: Chuckie (Affleck) and Will’s other pals from Southie â€” South Boston â€” are shown as amiable yobs, perfectly content within their shrunken horizons. The loathing that the college maintenance staff feel for the professors is also well done, and there’s a sharp scene where Will and a Harvard boy spar over Minnie Driver:
“You just paid $150,000 for an education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the library.”
“True, but at the end of it I’ll have a degree and you’ll be serving my kids fries in the drive-thru on the way to our ski vacation.”
(Two decades on, a 150-grand degree is no obstacle to a rewarding career at the drive-thru window.)
The forces of higher education are represented by Stellen Skarsgard as an MIT professor looking for his ticket to the top. It would have been interesting to see the film explore his character’s relationship with Will: both are men who, in opposite ways, are frustrated by the size of their brains. Instead, Skarsgard is there essentially to introduce Will to a shrink pal of his. The shrink is played by Robin Williams. Even worse, it’s Robin Williams in that beard he keeps in the drawer and only brings out for serious roles.
The beard is working overtime here: Williams’ character is a Vietnam vet, child-abuse survivor, recent widower and community college loser, due to the fact that his career stalled while his late wife spent 18 of their 20 years together on her death bed. In Deconstructing Harry, the Woody Allen film released around the same time, Williams had a small role as an actor who goes out of focus – literally: whenever the camera tries to film him, he’s all fuzzy and blurred. On the evidence of Good Will Hunting, it was something of a recurring problem for Williams: his eyes are permanently fuzzy and blurry, as if he’s on the brink of tears. Apparently, Mister Blurry’s participation was Harvey Weinstein’s sole demand before he would agree to make the film. That’s a shame, because he’s at odds with an otherwise strong cast. Self-pity is a difficult quality to sell: There’s a neediness in Williams’ performance here, which is what ties his serious roles to the manic comedy. All performers have that to one degree or another, but the trick of acting is to conceal it.
13 Oct 2017
Harvey Weinstein and Emma Watson as they leave a BAFTA dinner in London in 2011.
On the Weinstein affair, and for those who think he is the exception …
“You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer’s heart.”
— Fred Allen
12 Oct 2017
Dov Fisher is not impressed by the courage of female Hollywood celebrities suddenly now willing to come forward and testify against Harvey Weinstein, after he has already been exposed and defanged.
[M]y mind is struck â€” not by Weinstein but by the extraordinary cowardice that permeates and oozes through every pore of the slime that we call Hollywood. The revelation that Weinstein is a pig is no surprise. Just look at his donations to Democrats, to liberals, to feminists up-and-down the left. It is like listening to Bill Clinton preaching about treating women respectfully or Hillary Clinton, after getting a child rapist off the hook and giggling about it, rebounding to preach about how she deserves to run the country because she is a woman.
What hits home the sharpest amid this Harvey Weinstein scandal is the duality between the leftist feminist, on the one hand, publicly attacking Donald Trump â€” or George Bush (either) or Ronald Reagan or any decent conservative voice or judge or lawmaker â€” and, on the other hand, standing up to a true pig like Harvey Weinstein, albeit a liberal pig whose grease funds liberals and Democrats, first and foremost among them the Clintons.
There was Ashley Judd, less than a year ago, at a â€œWomenâ€™s March.â€ It was a â€œWomenâ€™s Marchâ€ that barred and disenfranchised the whole huge swath of American women who do not share the radicalsâ€™ leftist agenda. Speaking to those attending, Ashley Judd ripped into President Donald Trump. She became profoundly obscene, reciting a â€œpoemâ€ that bore fantasized intimations of perversion and incest. Oh how brave she was â€” â€œspeaking truth to powerâ€ â€” by regaling a leftist crowd, whining men and women and whatever pronouns now are persondated (not â€œmandatedâ€) in California â€” with a hateful radicalized leftist attack on the Republican President.
That is not â€œcourageous.â€ That is not â€œbrave.â€ There is no downside for a Hollywood figure to attack conservatives, Republicans, Christians, the Catholic Church, or Orthodox Jews before one of their hooting echo audiences. Those audiences lap it up. They love it. They reward such attacks with adulation and iconization. It is the â€œcourageâ€ of late-night talk hosts lambasting the President or the Republicans to their self-selecting echo chambers of leftists, while knowing full well that the conservatives and the Republicans are not in the Stephen Colbert audience or viewing on television when they instead can be watching Fox News or reruns of Last Man Standing or Quick Pitch on MLB or the cooking or other food channel or a movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime or Hulu or reading a book or even going to sleep at 11:30 p.m. because, as many conservatives do, those people have to get up in the morning the next day to go to work for a living.
There is no courage in attacking the President or the conservative justices of the United States Supreme Court or Republicans in Congress at Academy Awards night or Emmy night or Tony Awards night or Grammy night. There is no courage in mocking the traditionalists on Saturday Night Live. When a person arises amid an echo chamber of same-minded Eloi in a time machine that is stuck in an Obama era that has passed, and sneeringly feeds the clods who get their news from Comedy Central their liberal mantras, he or she simply is feeding fish to clapping seals. That is not courage. That is pandering.
Instead, courage is when an Ashley Judd is pawed by a Harvey Weinstein who has power over her career â€” and she decides that, whatever may be the price to be paid, she will stop this pig here and now by blowing the whistle. And that is the kind of courage that a coward like Ashley Judd lacks. Courage is not when Meryl Streep at a Hollywood Awards ceremony mocks President Trumpâ€™s perceived approach to women, based on the brash person he was decades earlier, while she extols Roman Polanski as an artist who has suffered far too long, even as she calls Harvey Weinstein â€œGod.â€ Rather, courage is when the same Meryl Streep wins the confidence of women in her field who can go to her, as women came to me in my less famous role, to tell their horrific reports of sexual assault and violation, knowing that she will leverage her voice in Hollywood to extirpate the pig from the public arena. And the coward Meryl Streep does not have that courage â€” not unless it is printed out for her in dummy cards for her to read emotively into a camera.
In all these cases â€” the phony cowards like the Ashley Judds, the Meryl Streeps, the Hillary Clintons whose political races and foundations have been greased by pigs like Harvey Weinstein whose identification with Bill Clinton is all-too-comprehensible â€” the cowardice is overwhelming. Shivering, sniveling, gutless cowards who actually have been positioned for years and years to take down this pig. Had they done so, they could have spared dozens more women the shame and trauma of subsequent Weinstein assaults and outrages. But they were too cowardly to endanger their stations in Hollywood. Dared not speak out against a mogul, a â€œGod.â€ Shivered, kept silent, perhaps endured silent nightmares and cold sweats. But nary a word. Because, while safely â€œspeaking truth to powerâ€ from safe distances, they never would risk their own tuxedoes and glittering dinner gowns, their jewels and diamonds, and their access to invitations to the next Hollywood gala. Too dangerous. Too risky. Better to tweet a dismembered bloody head depicting the duly, lawfully, and democratically elected President of the United States.
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