Hollywood’s favorite plotline is when the little guy (or girl) triumphs over the powerful. Whether it’s a curious secretary, an intrepid reporter, or a low-level government bureaucrat, Hollywood has made gazillions of dollars selling a narrative that anyone can take down the evil rich guy, his abettors, and the entire power structure around him.
Well, lookie what we have here. It’s Hollywood’s favorite story, but this time, it’s a reality show. The craven villain is real and his victims are real. His accomplices are not nameless, faceless flunkies; they are some of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry, media, and politics. Most of these cowards have gone into hiding, playing the “babe-in-the-woods routine,” to borrow a line from a famous mob movie. When they do finally emerge, their scripted lines are delivered as convincingly as a hostage statement. They cleverly give short-shrift to Weinstein’s actions and pivot right to “how brave the women are” who’ve come forward. Others claim they never personally witnessed the misconduct (no duh) and are shocked, SHOCKED that a Hollywood titan would behave this way.
The audience is not cheering. Americans, for the most part, are disgusted by the Harvey Weinstein drama, which is worsening by the day. The outrage is well-placed and well-deserved; the celebrity-political class that yammers about empowering women and protecting the vulnerable are now fully exposed for the frauds they are.
Not like we deplorables didn’t have a clue. These are the same people who lecture us about global warming while they own private jets and multiple mansions, demand gun control while they employ armed security details, oppose border security while they live behind gates and walls. So, giving lip service to sexual harassment while they keep the secrets about a sexual predator who gave them jobs and political donations shouldn’t be any surprise.
If they give an award for Best Hypocrite in a Documentary during next year’s Oscars, it will be a very tight category with many deserving recipients. Let’s run down the competition so far, shall we? Hit it, orchestra:
- Michelle Obama: The former first lady recently said, “any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice…to me that just says, you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like.” Since the Weinstein accusations were published last week, Mrs. O has strangely lost her own voice. Her husband released a statement on Tuesday to speak on her behalf, saying the couple is “disgusted” at the allegations.
- Jimmy Kimmel: The comedian-turned-Democratic-puppet hasn’t addressed the Weinstein affair on his late-night political platform, despite the fact he interviews celebrities for a living. Kimmel’s only mention was a twitter spar with Donald Trump, Jr. where he calls the “big story” from the New York Times “disgusting.” (Notice how he masterfully calls the story, not the person, disgusting.) Even more outrageous is the fact Kimmel had Matt Damon on his show Tuesday night; Damon has been accused of helping torpedo an article back in 2004 about Weinstein procuring young women in Italy (Damon denies the claim.) Kimmel also had Mark Ruffalo on his show; Ruffalo is prolific Trump-hater and self-proclaimed champion of women and who routinely tweets about his solidarity with the softer sex. (Ruffalo has sent out one tweet about Weinstein and could also be a nominee in this category.) Kimmel did not ask either one to comment on the Weinstein accusations.
- Basically everyone at NBC News: In what could become the biggest Weinstein cover-up story, Ronan Farrow revealed this week how the media succumbed to pressure from Weinstein and others to not report on the accusers coming forward. In a jaw-dropping interview on MSNBC Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow asks Farrow, “you just said one of these women spoke on camera in back in January, why did you end up reporting this for the New Yorker and not for NBC News?” When Ronan told her to ask NBC executives why it wasn’t reported, Maddow responded that “NBC executives said the story wasn’t publishable, wasn’t ready to go by the time you brought it to them.” Ronan pushed back: “It is not accurate to say it was not reportable, in fact, there were multiple determinations that it was reportable at NBC.” Think about that. NBC said it wasn’t publishable. The same network that has pushed phony Russia-conspiracy stories non-stop for a year? The same network that claimed it had Donald Trump’s tax returns? The same network whose news coverage, according to a study published last spring, is 93 percent negative against Donald Trump? Suddenly the NBC higher-up became scrupulous vetters of news stories? Gimme a break.
- Alyssa Milano: In a Marie Claire story published in March, Milano said this about the women’s movement resisting President Trump: “So, with powerful hearts and pussies, we began the fight. We realized the power of our collective voices and awakened a sleeping, feminist giant. She’s smart. She’s beautiful. She’s strong. She’s pissed.” In a post Monday, five days after the New York Times article appeared, Milano said she was “sickened over the disturbing allegations” but that her statement was “complicated for me” because “Georgina Chapman (Weinstein now-estranged wife) is my friend. It is because of my love for Georgina…that I haven’t publicly commented on this until now.” The next day, she tweeted out a year-old NPR article about allegations against Trump.
- George Clooney: The husband of an international rights attorney has minced no words when it comes to his criticism of Donald Trump and his support for women’s causes. The actor admitted he started hearing rumors about Weinstein nearly 30 years ago but “took those rumors with a grain of salt.” He claims he never saw any of this behavior by Weinstein even though Clooney acknowledged the producer was a bully but “you just put up with certain bad behavior because, if he yells and screams but he gets ‘Pulp Fiction’ made, who cares if he yells and screams.” Clooney also subtly blames another female reporter for not breaking the story sooner and “if she did these interviews and this investigation, she didn’t run the story, and I and a lot of other people would have liked to have known it.” (Ouch, my sides. Must stop laughing.)
Of course, there are plenty of other worthy nominees: Meryl Streep, Ben Affleck, Chelsea Handler, Donna Karan, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren. And it’s still too early to see if any other candidates will emerge.
One thing we do know: this drama will only get darker and spin off many sequels. Weinstein is a wealthy, vindictive man with a long memory. Once he regroups and finishes his self-imposed therapy, it’s very likely he will return fire. That will be a blockbuster.