An Oscar-winning producer was close to being the God of the film industry until the scandalous facts of his lewd behavior soaked into popular media. Those who have remained silent for ages finally decided to speak out.
How It All Started Up: Weinstein’s Victims
On Thursday, October 5th, 2017, the New York Times published Harvey Weinstein’s case. The post revealed that the producer had sexually harassed his subordinated actresses over a long period of time. Weinstein was accused by such well-known figures in Hollywood as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many others.
Angelina Jolie said she had an unpleasant encounter with Weinstein during the filming of “Playing by Heart” in the 90s. The producer invited Jolie to visit his room in the hotel which she refused to do. After that, the actress has been avoiding collaborations with his studio and warning all others about possible consequences.
Gwyneth Paltrow had a similar experience when she was 22. She starred in “Emma,” the screen version of a Jane Austen novel. Before the filming, Weinstein invited her to his apartment in Beverly Hills to discuss some operational issues. Instead of formal communication, he started to embrace her and beg for a message. Paltrow fled the room and told her then-boyfriend, Brad Pitt, about the incident.
Ashley Judd was trapped in Weinstein’s hotel room during the filming of “Kiss the Girls” in 1997 for the purpose of a business meeting. The man asked her to help him undress and watch him naked in the shower. The actress rejected those offers and left. In the years since she has never starred in a Weinstein studio’s movies.
Rose McGowan suffered from harassment during the Sundance festival in 1997. The scenario remained the same: Weinstein called her over to his place and asked for a message. Further details are not available. All we know is that he paid her between 80 and 120 thousand dollars for the non-disclosure of the incident.
Later in the notorious year of 1997, Weinstein raped Asia Argento. After her visit to his hotel room, he persuaded her to massage him. Later, Harvey got undressed and dropped his pants. The actress tried to leave but the producer grabbed her and forced her to have oral sex.
Cara Delevingne was forced to kiss the other women (the model is openly bisexual). Harvey Weinstein, as usual, invited her to his hotel room before auditions. There was another girl present, so the producer asked them to kiss in front of him. Cara was about to leave, but then Weinstein tried to kiss her himself. Finally, she got out of the apartment. Even though the actress refused the offer, she received a role in Harvey’s movie.
Lea Seydoux has been threatened a number of times. In most cases, Weinstein was inviting her to his place for the purpose of drinking together and then began trying to kiss her. Seydoux resisted all his efforts.
Why has Hollywood Remained Silent for Decades?
There were only a few public mentions of Weinstein’s behavior spoken in a comic manner before the disclosure. For instance, American actor Seth MacFarlane alluded to this fact during the Oscar ceremony while announcing nominees for the best female featuring role. He said the following: “Congratulations! You five will no longer have to pretend that you like Harvey Weinstein.”
According to MacFarlane, he made this comment after his partner in “Ted,” Jessica Barth, complained him about Weinstein’s sexual harassment toward her.
Almost everybody in Hollywood was aware of what Weinstein was doing. Among the exceptions are Oscar nominee Annette Bening and famous actress Meryl Streep.
However, all this information hadn’t come to the surface before. Everyone remained silent because of the producer’s great power in the film industry. He was paying his subordinates to keep quiet and signing non-disclosure agreements for a long period of time. People were scared: some of them were afraid of losing their career; the others understood that the police would not investigate a case against such an influential figure.
Harvey Weinstein himself denies the accusations and condemns The New York Times for slander. He says that he has never had sexual contact with actresses without their consent. The producer is planning to sue the publication. By the way, his regular lawyer, Lisa Bloom, refused to protect him in this case.
Implications for Weinstein and the American Film Industry
Harvey Weinstein was ousted by the American Movie Academy and fired from his own company, The Weinstein Co. The enterprise began the integral investigation. BAFTA (The British Academy of Film and Television Arts) also suspended his membership in their organization.
Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, decided to break up with the producer after the official announcement of the testimonies. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority” – the woman commented on the situation.
The New York City Police (NYPD) resumed the investigation begun in 2004. The London Police Department is also going to begin their own inquiry to check out the accusation of sexual abuse that took place in the 80s.
Weinstein’s case raised a groundswell of scandals in Hollywood. There is an epidemic of prominent figures leaving their positions due to charges of sexual harassment. The most notable among them is the incident with Kevin Spacey and his further coming out, Bill O’Reilly’s dismissal from the Fox News channel, and the accusations against comedian Bill Cosby.
Actress Rose McGowan shared her thoughts in a Hollywood Reporter interview. In her opinion, the men in Hollywood should reconsider their behavior and try to mend it immediately. The majority of community members hope that those unpleasant incidents will provide important lessons to all people in Hollywood and change the environment there for the better.