It’s been decades since Tinseltown was content with just making entertainment. No, today everybody has to have a message, an agenda and a cause, and these usually overshadow the actual business of TV and movie making (which is probably a large part of why very little worth watching comes out of there anymore). The big names claim they have an obligation to speak out in support of others, to “speak truth to power.”
Unless that power is someone like Harvey Weinstein.
The real story with Weinstein isn’t that an entertainment mogul has been revealed to have used his position to harass and abuse women in the industry. Frankly, given the stories coming out of Fox News and elsewhere, that much is almost blasé. No, the real story is why it took so long for this to be publicized. Now that the dam has broken, it’s like more than half of Hollywood is saying “well, of course there was a problem. Who didn’t know?”
In other words, when Weinstein was at the height of his power, nobody was speaking truth to him. On the contrary, if allegations are true, a number of big names in the business were active enablers of his behavior. Does anyone believe this is the only rock that needed kicking over? Is it any coincidence that so many child stars (particularly those who work for Disney) seem to grow up and lose their mind? If Congress can find the time to investigate the use of steroids in baseball, why can’t it find the time to investigate the toxic environment of Hollywood?
Probably because of the money involved. Weinstein was a generous supporter of the Democratic Party and a very close friend of Bill and Hillary (whose judgement only appears more evil and self-serving by the day). But money alone doesn’t explain it all. Does anyone doubt if one or both of the Koch brothers were found in the same circumstances that the media would be demanding every Republican in Washington publicly denounce them? So why hasn’t anyone brought Weinstein up with Hillary, who is still giving lucrative speeches well after her sell-by date? Barack Obama, who seemed to be speaking as a shadow president during Trump’s early efforts to reverse his disastrous legacy, also seems strangely silent and out of sight. He’s far from the only one who’s lost his usually overactive tongue.
It’s called partisan protection. As Glenn Reynolds frequently says of the corporate media, “just think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and it all makes sense.” There is so much overlap in the Venn diagram of Democrats, Hollywood and the Media that reporters risk being cast out of the bubble of their incestuous clan if they ask the difficult questions. So much for “bravery:”
In the absence of personal risk, haranguing the powerful can be soul-satisfying, and sometimes it forges careers, but it isn’t brave by a long shot. Thomas More spoke truth to Henry VIII, and it cost him his head. Dietrich Bonheoffer spoke truth to Adolf Hitler and was hanged in a concentration camp. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn spoke truth to the Soviet Union and suffered grievously for it. Stephen Colbert piddled on the president’s rug, and he’s been cashing big-bucks checks ever since.
See the difference?
The protection afforded Weinstein by his liberal enablers doesn’t stop at silence or the reluctance to make him the subject of standard late-night comedy roasts. Donna Karan, a well-known fashion designer, was forced to walk back comments that perhaps Weinstein’s victims were ‘asking for it’ by the way they dressed!
Certainly in the country of Haiti where I work, in Africa, in the developing world, it’s been a hard time for women. To see it here in our own country is very difficult, but I also think how do we display ourselves? How do we present ourselves as women? What are we asking? Are we asking for it by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality?
If a conservative comments on how lasciviously many women dress today, it’s considered “victim blaming” by alleged Neanderthals. But if such an examination is a way to help out a Hollywood mogul, it’s OK? Is your head spinning yet at the audacious double standard? Sure, Karan was pressured to disavow the statement, but the fact she made it shows it’s part of the toxic self-justifying entertainment industry’s environment. It’s easy for them to hold conservatives’ feet to the fire over standards. It’s harder to do so for liberals, when it appears they have none other than the will to power.
The public has more reason than just simple decency and morality to be outraged. Hollywood derives tremendous benefit from tax breaks and government incentives to churn out their drivel. In other words, cord-cutting or not We the People pay for this filth. Just as the immature posturing of NFL players has caused some to look at the League’s anti-trust exemption and frequent use of municipal bonds to build their palatial stadiums, perhaps Weinstein’s downfall should cause America to truly confront the moral sewer that is Hollywood. Public funding for both (including PBS) should dry up entirely. Let them earn their profits by making edifying fare that Middle America actually wants, versus their tax-supported propaganda.
Final thought: what are the odds Weinstein actually goes to jail (versus some sort of high-profile “rehab”)? Roman Polanski and Woody Allen after all, are still considered persecuted entertainers by many in Hollywood. And there’s not exactly a tradition of holding Leftists criminally accountable these days (see: Hillary, Bill, Huma, Lois Lerner, Loretta Lynch, etc., ad nauseum).
Remember that, when Social Justice Warriors ask if we ‘normal Americans’ have any decency. It’s called projection. And they don’t really have the courage of their convictions when it comes to policing their own.