Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week or so you would know Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein has come under fire for being a predator. Not just a bit of “flirty banter” character like something out of a Carry On film but a truly horrendous and scary piece of work. Reading about the allegations and how many people are coming forward about the things he has said and done is truly terrifying. But the sad thing is I would put all my life savings on him not being the only one in Hollywood to use his status for that sort of thing – he’s just the only one who got caught.
Now, women are coming out of the woodwork to expose this man and although this is something that should be lauded and they should be commended for their bravery for speaking out they are instead getting lambasted and abused online.
It taken many decades and an incredibly brave model called Ambra Battilana to report him to the police after she had been assaulted in 2015 – It’s taken 2 full years for this to come out… And that’s not even the worst part! After her complaint, the police then put a wire on her and then sent her back to the man who assaulted her just so she could gain evidence. I could never comprehend going through the trauma of being assaulted let alone having to face the abuser so soon after. After she done that, she had to wait 2 years for any sort of justice. Even now that she’s done all that you can guarantee that there are people claiming that she’s after her “15 mins of fame” and blaming her for somehow not doing more.
Can anyone even wrap their head around that happening to them? THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DON’T SPEAK UP.
See the thing about Harvey is that he is a very powerful man with a list of powerful contacts that include people at the very top of the social ladder including ex-presidents and has bags of money to rival even the most decorated A-listers. Now imagine, being a child, and dreaming of becoming an actress like the next Angelina Jolie or a Gwyneth Paltrow. However, you’re now in your teens and you want to make that dream a reality and you get a call offering you to meet one of the most influential people in Hollywood who can give you, your dream and you’ve to meet him at his hotel. Well, he’s a busy guy, he’s a jet-setter, he’ll have his advisor there… It basically is just a room. Now, imagine you get there and then instead of asked questions such as “why do you want to be an actress?” and “who are your Hollywood role models?” etc to then be told that you have to do explicit things to him or else he will make sure you will never achieve your dream, never have anything that resembles a career and you will be blacklisted from all major networks, studios etc and will make your name mud. Even if you thought to be an A-list actress was an unreasonable dream and you would have settled for a bit-part in a sitcom or even being a TV host, or even further down to being a celebrity blogger or a film reviewer – I have no doubt Harvey Weinstein would have put a stop to all of it… Just. Because. He. Can.
Rose McGowan claimed she got raped by Weinstein and then spoke to the head of Amazon Studios about what had happened to her… She was then blacklisted from a lot of things. I, like many others probably last saw her in Charmed and occasionally opened up the papers to negative press, showcasing her having some sort of breakdown. A quick search shows 4 of her last 6 films don’t even have a Wikipedia page.
It’s not just young, come-from-nothing girls looking for a big break at Hollywood, Mira Sorvino & Rosanna Arquette, two women who come from very established Hollywood families have claimed they have been harassed by Harvey & their careers have suffered due to it. TV host, Wendy Williams asked her audience to clap if they had seen Mira’s last film called “Wiseguys” and about 4 people in the full audience clapped…
Courtney Love, another personality who has been made out to be “crazy” has lost some of that “star quality” she possessed in the 90’s and early noughties and has spent considerably more time in the UK over the past decade. She got tagged again with the “crazy” label in 2005 when she responded to a question she was asked at the Pamela Anderson Comedy Central Roast on whether if she has any advice for girls trying to break into Hollywood.
It’s funny, how a woman can say this on a huge network during a show that pulled in millions of viewers and yet no one even considered it newsworthy and people still wonder why victims struggle to come out.
The sad thing is, Harvey Weinstein is just one guy and this goes a lot further than one guy. You can guarantee he had a whole circle who knew and kept this silenced for so long. It even goes further than Weinstein’s circle and Hollywood and even the entertainment industry. There could be a Harvey Weinstein in charge of your local McDonalds, there could be a Harvey Weinstein in charge of your local sports team, there could even be a Harvey Weinstein you have as a friend or family member. A “Harvey Weinstein” is now an adjective for a person who uses their power, money and social status to satisfy their own seedy little needs, all-the-while destroying their victims’ self-confidence and general well-being.
That’s why people who haven’t been abused need to stand with those who have and show them the support they need to stand up to their abusers and encourage them to speak out on the issue and hold their hand while doing so. If not, then we’re going to end up in a world run by Weinstein’s who continue to exploit others for their own sick satisfaction.
Now, sadly this is where I would usually remind guys to imagine if this happened to their mother, daughter, sister – it’s crazy why people need reminding to relate this to people they have strong relationship with – But for the narcissists among us who seemingly can’t identify with females at all, then I’ll let 240lb, 6ft+, all male Terry Crews explain….
It doesn’t matter if you’re a 5ft, skinny teenage girl or a 6ft+ middle-aged male with muscles bigger than most guys heads. The situation is still as daunting and terrifying to one as it is to the other. There are no excuses for this behaviour and maybe if we (as a society) stopped pointing fingers at the victims for going through something traumatic and start calling out the actual abusers who are sick enough to get away with this then maybe it would be a better world… But then again, the most powerful man in the world is an alleged sexual predator and people voted him into power.
Sadly, there is a very real chance that although 30+ women are coming out to tell their stories of abuse at the hands of this monster, although he’s been sacked from his own company, he still holds a lot of power and a lot of money. He may go to rehab for a while and when he comes back, his reputation will be damaged but there will always be people looking for a leg up that social ladder that he can offer. All the victims will be told the same thing as Rose McGowan got told by a criminal lawyer after she was raped that “she was unlikely to win”. Some of the cases are years old, no physical interaction just verbal, if there was any physical damage such as bruising etc would be gone and it’s essentially their word against his (and probably the best lawyers money can buy). Sadly, I really worry that won’t be enough. That is why, if someone confides in you about their own Harvey Weinstein you gotta hold their hand, be their rock, offer them love and support and encourage them to speak up as soon as possible… and if you know a Harvey Weinstein, don’t bury your head in the sand for an easy life, call them out on their bullshit and I will guarantee you will make the difference to someone’s life.