If Hollywood is the distillate of modernity, Harvey Weinstein is the distillate of Hollywood. His whole affair is enough for anyone to fill a sick bag.
Harvey is the star of the unfolding sex scandal, taking up more column inches than the very distinct possibility of nuclear war. This stands to reason: bombs can only kill people, while the Harvey brouhaha exposes the evil of the modern ethos for what it is.
For make no mistake about it: Harvey comes out looking less vile than his accusers – or indeed his brother Bob.
This isn’t to say that I doubt for a second that Harvey is a scumbag. Even before we talk about his sexual indiscretions, the very fact that he’s a lifetime supporter of the Democratic Party is a sufficient qualification for that epithet.
But, as far as I’m concerned, he’s squeaky clean compared to his righteous, or rather self-righteous, accusers. Suddenly it appears that one letter has fallen out of the megalomaniac Hollywood sign to turn it into Holywood. This is about as emetic as hypocrisy can possibly get.
Consider the facts, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. The defendant is a vulgar, oversexed upstart obsessed with power and money, who has made it to the top of one of the world’s most competitive industries.
His one word can turn into a major star an aspiring actress who supplements her income by serving drinks or, as is often the case, accepting gifts from gentlemen friends. Or, to take a less extreme situation, he can push an established but strictly B-movie actress over the cusp of stardom.
I’d suggest that any man fitting Harvey’s description above would behave in exactly the same manner, if perhaps favouring less direct methods of courtship.
But, as the cliché goes, it takes two to tango. For every Hollywood mogul dangling a role as bait, there have to be countless beauties gasping “I’ll do anything to get this part…” A swap of a roll in the hay for a role in a movie is par for the Hollywood course.
Genuinely talented actresses may or may not join this queue by way of a shortcut. But for every one of those, there are hundreds of pretty girls who are much of a muchness. They’re interchangeable for most parts available, and suggesting they wouldn’t use sex as an extra inducement would be presuming too much on human virtue.
So far we’ve heard from dozens of actresses who supposedly rejected Harvey’s heavy-handed advances. Only one admits to having had consensual sex with him months after the alleged rape attempt.
I’d like every one of the others to put her hand on her left breast (suitably bulging as per Hollywood’s job requirements) and swear that she has never advanced her career by sleeping with either Harvey or some other producer (agent, director, studio executive, co-star).
And even if they haven’t used sex in such a straightforward fashion, how many of them have done naked erotic scenes for the sheer purpose of indulging men’s onanistic fantasies?
A few years ago, a prankster asked Demi Moore: “If it wasn’t gratuitous in any way, and it was tastefully done, would you consider keeping your clothes on in a movie?” The same question could be addressed to many of Harvey’s accusers.
Harvey is 65 now, and he has been a powerful producer for at least 30 years. Since it’s a lamentable fact of nature that a man’s libido is stronger at 30 than at 60, one can safely assume that Harvey has been requesting massages all this time.
Now, Hollywood isn’t only one of the most competitive places in the world, but also one of the most scrutinised. It thrives on gossip and exposition, and it’s absolutely impossible that Harvey’s amorous pursuits haven’t been common knowledge for decades.
How come they’ve only now come to light? In fact, all those fighters for women’s rights stabbing fingers at Harvey have until now been avidly kissing his backside, even if they supposedly refused to kiss another part of his anatomy.
The papers are full of photographs of his beaming, half-naked would-be accusers wrapped around Harvey at various award shows. Why didn’t they denounce him then?
For the same reason they’ve cultivated their pouting sex appeal: career. When Harvey’s hold on power was secure, these sanctimonious hypocrites eagerly indulged in paying him labiogluteal tributes.
But then something happened to turn Harvey into a soft mark, giving his accusers an opening to establish themselves as fearless upholders of every ‘liberal’ value in the eyes of TV cameras.
That something was, according to unanimous reports, a signal from Harvey’s brother and Miramax partner Bob.
Harvey and Bob had their business disagreements. Both wanted to produce films that made profits, but Harvey was also interested in those that won Oscars.
When there was the slightest conflict between the two desiderata, Harvey was ready to sacrifice some of the profits, while Bob wasn’t. The arguments weren’t always peaceful: Harvey, the alpha male in the family, once publicly knocked Bob down.
Bob decided to get his own back and did a Cain – all purely selflessly of course. I suspect that, in addition to leaking the saga of Harvey’s satyriasis, he also reassured the potential accusers that they had nothing to lose and much to gain by speaking out.
Thus emboldened, they pounced on Harvey like a pack of she-wolves defending their pups. Except that they were defending the same vulgar, voyeuristic ethos that has turned them into stars – the same ethos that has replaced real culture.
Now they’re seen as courageous defenders of ‘liberal’ values, an image that rivals large breasts as a sine qua non of their profession. And Harvey has been thrown to the she-wolves. He has lost his job, his wife, much of his family and possibly his sanity.
Now I’m congenitally incapable of feeling pity for Lefty vulgarians, and Harvey deserves all he gets – especially if those stories of attempted rapes are true.
But, as he screamed at the braying mob, “We all make mistakes! Second chance!”. He’s not going to get it. The mob’s trumped-up rage isn’t leavened with mercy, and Harvey isn’t a woman taken in adultery.