When news broke last week of movie mogul and Democrat mega-donor Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse and misconduct, the reaction from Hollywood and the entertainment industry was simple—deny, deny, deny.
In the wake of the story’s breaking, Hollywood’s silence was deafening. The news likely came as little surprise to anyone in Tinseltown, though, as Weinstein’s rampant and serial sexual predation has been one of the town’s most notorious “open secrets” since the late ‘90s.
NBC sitcom “30 Rock” joked in one episode about a female actress’ triumph of rebuffing the producer’s advances. The character states, “I’m not afraid of anyone in show business. I turned down intercourse with Weinstein on no less than three occasions, out of five.” Gwyneth Paltrow laughed with David Letterman in a 1998 appearance on “The Tonight Show,” where Paltrow spoke of him as “a coercer.” Paltrow has since reported she experienced abuse from Weinstein dating back to 1995 when she was just 22 years old.
In perhaps the most harrowing instance of subversive acknowledgement, Seth McFarlane congratulated the 2013 Oscar nominees for Best Supporting Actress by telling them, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
Clearly, Weinstein’s abuse was well-known within the close circles of Hollywood elite. Even in New York City, no one among the rest of the entertainment world’s privileged elite was too eager to speak up. Virtually none of the late night television hosts made mention of the story last week, and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” scrapped all Weinstein-related material well in advance of the dress rehearsal. The question, then, is why? With the details of Weinstein’s decades-long depravity well established and corroborated by actresses ranging from Ashley Judd to Angelina Jolie, why remain silent on the story?
SNL showrunner Lorne Michaels responded to such an inquiry shortly after the program aired, stating, “It’s a New York thing,” implying their refusal to broach the subject was the result of some Manhattanite loyalty.
This is demonstrably a bogus lie. Week in and week out, the program and its producers have been delighted to bash President Trump, a lifelong New Yorker, since well before his inauguration. Nice try, Michaels, but nobody is buying it.
The truth is that it is not a New York thing. It is not even a Hollywood thing, though their nigh-canonization of convicted child-rapist Roman Polanski makes clear the industry’s complete apathy for victims of sexual abuse. Sure, the actresses in question may have been pressured to keep their lips sealed for fear of backlash from the powers-that-be in Hollywood, but Weinstein’s loathsome behavior was enabled and ignored for decades because of his status as a high-ranking “limousine liberal” Democrat.
The sum of Weinstein’s political contributions to Democratic candidates and political action committees is jawdropping; CNN reports that Weinstein has made more than 185 on-the-record donations totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Democratic National Campaign Committee has reportedly collected roughly $250,000 in donations from Weinstein.
FEC documents divulge that Weinstein has given approximately $1.5 million to Hillary Clinton since 1999.
Weinstein has hosted fundraising events for Barack Obama and Clinton’s respective presidential campaigns. Former first lady Michelle Obama praised Weinstein in a 2013 speech, calling him a “wonderful human being,” and “a good friend.” Additionally, former president Obama has also extolled Weinstein’s virtues on numerous occasions, primarily at fundraising events.
Between 2010 and 2014, Weinstein made thirteen separate visits to the Obama White House; nine of those meetings were with sitting president Obama.
How closely connected was serial rapist and woman-abuser Weinstein to the Democratic political establishment? Malia Obama took a gap year before attending Harvard University this fall, working an internship fulltime. Her boss? Weinstein.
Weinstein was shielded from the backlash of his despicable actions for years because he carried water for the Democrats. Even after accounts of Weinstein’s depravity hit the mainstream last week, Clinton was silent about the story for five days. Considering the fact Clinton all but tripped over herself trying to politicize the Las Vegas massacre as soon as possible, the former candidate’s silence was striking.
There is a reason none of the late night comedians covered the story right away—they know their own kind. To go after one of their own, a rabid anti-Trumper who walked the Women’s March in a pussy hat, simply would not do. Since Weinstein was on their side, had all the “correct” ideas and donated his money to the right politicians, he was given a pass. Such a spineless display of hypocrisy is nothing short of shameful.
Weinstein’s abusive conduct was kept an “open secret” for decades because Hollywood and the liberal media valued covering for one of their own more than they valued protecting vulnerable young actresses. The New York Times sat on the story for over a decade—God only knows how many women could have been spared the trauma of sexual abuse if the media had not covered it up.
Michael Plummer is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at MP882401@wcupa.edu.