Friday, October 20, 2017
Hollywood is notorious for the casting couch, which we now know includes pedophilia, statutory rape, rape, and other forms of sexual assault. Past studio moguls known for the casting couch include Harry Cohn of Columbia, Darryl Zanuck of Fox, and Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer of MGM. Errol Flynn and Roman Polanski enjored under age women. Arnold Schwarzenegger was no saint. They all did it because they could. Hollywood stood and applauded when Roman Polanski won an Oscar in 2002. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expelled Harvey Weinstein, but Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski remain members. Harvey Weinstein did it because they did. Harvey Weinstein, now sometimes nicknamed Harvey Swinestein, may be the lowest of the low, but he is certainly not alone. Harvey Swinestein may be a pig, but he is certainly not alone. Harvey Weinstein’s sordid tale of misconduct is revolting and repulsive, but he’s not alone. Hollywood is known for arrogance, bravado, bullies and egomaniacs. Harvey Weinstein excelled in these. He was arrogant and a bully beyond the norm, but he is not alone. Harvey Weinstein did it because he could, but he’s not alone. Dozens of actresses and models are coming forward with despicable tales of sexual harassment by directors and producers, and to a lesser extent, actors. Yet, no matter how reprehensible the tales are, they are not naming names. Alyssa Milano asked others to #MeToo if they were harassed. Scores have, including Monica Lewinsky. Sorry Monica, but a long period of consensual sex does not constitute sexual harassment. Therein lies the problem. First, without proof, they would be open to a defamation suit. Second, they remain scared of being cut off in Hollywood. Very few producers, directors and studio leaders are women, who could protect them. Directing and producing remains primarily a man’s world in Hollywood even though women and making strides. The men who protected Harvey Weinstein are still in power. A lot of directors and producers are undoubtedly consulting their lawyers these days. Everybody knew, but nobody acted. To do so would be to commit Hollywood suicide. Look at Tippi Hayden. She disappeared after The Birds and Marnie. She claims Alfred Hitchcock blackballed her in Hollywood because she would not submit to his aggression. She paid a steep price. Actresses warned other actresses, but it was on the Q.T. Few dared to go public. Jane Fonda said she knew a year ago, but is now ashamed of staying quiet. Yet she is not naming names. She’ll rather go to North Vietnam and pose on a North Vietnam anti-aircraft gun for propaganda against the United States rather than name names in Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino said he knew, but is now sorry he didn’t do anything. Yes, he did; he continued to produce his movies with Harvey. It was economic. It took the New York Times and New Yorker Magazine to bare the bare facts about Harvey Weinstein, but they could only do so because a few brave actresses were willing to talk. Hollywood cheered the fall of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly at Fox, ignoring its sordid record. Many actors and actresses sleep around. We should be careful to not confuse promiscuity with the casting couch. This problem is different from when Hollywood would not name the gays and lesbians in its community. It’s different because these directors and producers are hurting people whereas outing gays and lesbians could hurt their careers. Rumors always circulated to the general public about individual actors and actresses, but few people really cared. They weren’t hurting anyone. The Church covered up clergy abuse for decades and reassigned the priests to other parishes. The pedophile priests were hurting young boys. It’s not just Hollywood and the Church. Politics can bring out the worst animal behavior in some men, including Presidents Clinton, Johnson, and Kennedy while in office as President. Senator Teddy Kennedy was notorious for his philandering. Some members of Congress proclaim one thing, and do another. It goes down to the local level. Some politicians are susceptible to corruption and sexism. The stories are beginning to emerge in sports, especially in women’s gymnastics. Sexual harassment exists in many occupations and professions. Silicon Valley, in its short existence, suffers from sexism, if not sexual harassment. By no means, not all or presumably a majority of men! But one is one too many. Harvey Weinstein is now learning a fundamental lesson of success: Be nice to those you pass on the way up. You may see them again on the way down!
Thursday, October 5, 2017
We hear and read how divisive a voice President supposedly is. And yet, what about Ex CBS Vice President and senior counsel Hayley Geftman-Gold who posted on Facebook after the Vegas killings: “If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing … I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters."? Those who have online threatened Ms. Geftman-Gold with violence? Michelle Obama? “No wonder people don’t trust politics” because the Republican Party is “all men, all white.” Hillary Clinton calling Trump supporters “deplorable?” Hillary Clinton calling women who supported Donald Tump “publicly disrespecting themselves?” Massachusetts Democratic representatives Seth Moulton and Katherine Clark who refused to observe the Congressional moment of silence for the Las Vegas victims? Nancy Sinatra, who tweeted and then deleted “murderous members of the NRA shoud be executed by a firing squad.” ESPN commentator Jemele Hill who posted: “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded w/other white supremacists,” subsequently added “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.” One more: “He is unqualified and unfit to be president. He is not a leader. He is not a leader. And if he were not white, he never would have been elected.” Ithaca College Professor Stephen Mosher who called “God Bless America” a “warmongering song.” Controversial Drexel Professor George Ciccarielo-Maher (2016 – “All I want for Christmas is white genocide”) “White people and men” go on shooting sprees “when they don’t get what they want.” Duke Professor Jay Pearson for calling President Trump a “textbook racist”? Smithburg High School history teacher Joshua Cramer, who posted his rule: “Trump is a symbol of racism and bigotry. As I did last year, students wearing Trump or MAGA apparel are asked to leave. Let them come after me for it.” Cal State Fullerton Professor Eric Canin who attempted to rip a sign out of a college republican’s hands and then hit another college Republican in the face? Fresno State Professor Lars Maischak tweeting “To save American democracy, Trump must hang. The sooner and higher, the better?” Imagine, liberals advocating lynching? Professor Maischak further tweeting “Justice = The execution of two republicans for each deported Immigrant”? More from Professor Maischak: “If only Mary had an abortion! We would have been spared this Clerical-Fascist crap”? Clemson Professor Bart Knijnenburg on Facebook calling “all Republicans “racist” and “scum”? Cambridgeport Elementary School librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro who returned a gift of Dr. Seuss books from First lady Melania Trump on National Read a Book Day to the First Lady, saying the Seuss illustrations are "stepped in racist propaganda,caricatures, and harmful stereotypes."? How about her calling Dr. Seuss "a bit of a cliche" as well as "a tired and worn ambassador for children's literature."? Elgin, Illinois School Board member Traci O'Neal Ellis who posted on Facebook "That flag means nothing more than toilet paper to me."? The professoriate and academic Neanderthals who chill speech and muzzle conservatives on campus? Colin Kaepernick and the NFL?