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Did Hollywood Learn From Harvey Weinstein?

January 14, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Harvey Weinstein

Remember Harvey Weinstein? At one time he was the toast of Hollywood, a movie mogul who pretty much inspired the #MeToo movement and who was just charged this past week with sexually assaulting two women, according to the Los Angeles district attorney.

The timing came on the eve of jury selection in a criminal trial against Weinstein in New York, where he has been charged with felony sexual assault.

But is Hollywood paying attention?  

An attorney for one of the women, identified as Jane Doe 1, told NBC News in a statement that she has been working with the authorities for two years.

“She is thankful for their collective work that has resulted in these criminal charges against Weinstein,” attorney Dave Ring said. “She values her privacy, but will do what is necessary to obtain justice for what Weinstein did to her in 2013.”

The allegation reads that Jane Doe 1 alleges that she attended a film festival on February 17, 2013, in which Weinstein was also in attendance. She claims that Weinstein knocked at her door after she returned to her hotel and spoke to her briefly inside the room. He then allegedly forced himself on her and raped her, according to her lawyer’s statement.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, adding that prosecutors were recommending bail be set at $5 million.

If convicted as charged, Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison. He has denied all accusations of nonconsensual sexual activity.

For an industry dedicated to making dreams come true on the big screen, Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes nightmare has come to light in a glaring way. Hollywood everyman Tom Hanks did an interview with BBC after the Weinstein allegations came out and he believed there is no way for Weinstein to come back from this and this is “a watershed moment,” and “a sea change” is coming.

Have you seen Weinstein in court? He looks to be on his last leg? What happened? And are things changing in Tinseltown?

Remember Oscar-nominated writer-director James Toback, who was accused of sexually harassing at least 38 women stemming back to at least the 1980s? Two years ago a Los Angeles Times article reported that some of the women were looking for jobs in the entertainment industry while others were simply approached and hit on by Toback. 31 of the women agreed to speak on the record, and they all detailed various incidents in which Toback allegedly made lewd suggestions, spoke about sexually explicit topics, and rubbed against them until he ejaculated into his pants or on their bodies.

At the time it was headlines but nothing came from it because of “time limits” attached to reporting incidents came into play. 

Look, it’s no surprise that men in power used their influence to rape, harass, and demean men and women with promises of fame or money. As more and more stories have popped up, we’re getting a very clear picture of how some operate in Hollywood. Already the Weinstein scandal is bringing out the a truth that’s long been hidden. In Weinstein’s case, more than 40 women have come forward with allegations of rape, sexual harassment or assault against Weinstein since the New York Times first published an article exposing decades of his alleged misdeeds. 

But like any story, and thanks to social media, it’s hard to stay focus. Even the t “who knew what” angle died down quickly. Director Quentin Tarantino, a frequent Weinstein collaborator, said in an interview that he had heard accounts of abuse by Weinstein and regrets not acting on it.

“I knew enough to do more than I did,” Tarantino told The New York Times. “There was more to it than just the normal rumors, the normal gossip. It wasn’t secondhand. I knew he did a couple of these things. I wish I had taken responsibility for what I heard,” he added. “If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him.”


So what comes next? Has Hollywood really come clean, apologized, and reformed? Has Weinstein’s case changed anything?

article topics :

Harvey Weinstein, Steve Gustafson