‘HYPOCRISY AND COWARDICE AT HEART OF THE ES­TAB­LISH­MENT’

If Tin­sel­town is so hor­ri­fied, why did all this take so long?

Irish Daily Mail - - News - by Christo­pher Hart

HE’S ‘a won­der­ful hu­man be­ing’ and a ‘good man’; a man of pro­found ‘pas­sion’ and ‘com­mit­ment’; even, jok­ingly, ‘God’.

Who is this paragon of virtue who has been so lav­ishly praised? Step for­ward se­rial sex­ual abuser and multi-mil­lion­aire al­leged rapist, Mr Har­vey We­in­stein.

And who are those who have been fawn­ing over him for the past 30 years while he car­ried on with his de­praved per­sonal life?

The luvvies who make up Hol­ly­wood’s finest, as well as their close friends and al­lies on the po­lit­i­cal left. Peo­ple who are for­ever flaunt­ing their lib­eral val­ues in our faces. We­in­stein has been lauded and sucked up to in a stag­ger­ing 34 dif­fer­ent Os­car ac­cep­tance speeches. It was for­mer First Lady Michelle Obama her­self who hailed this bloated, bul­ly­ing, sex­u­ally per­verted film mogul ‘a won­der­ful hu­man be­ing’ and a ‘good man’.

He is known to have dined at least ten times at the White House dur­ing Barack Obama’s ten­ure. In re­turn, We­in­stein do­nated mil­lions to the Democrats – one es­ti­mate reck­ons some $2 mil­lion in the past 15 years.

Oh, and the Oba­mas’ 18-year-old daugh­ter worked for a year as an in­tern at We­in­stein’s com­pany. How very cosy it all was.

So this story isn’t just about one man’s sleazy pri­vate life, his hor­ri­ble at­ti­tudes to­wards women, and his spec­tac­u­lar fall from grace.

It’s about how the en­tire jet­set­ting Hol­ly­wood Es­tab­lish­ment – its holier-than-thou stars, its mon­ey­men, the gush­ing lib­eral po­lit­i­cal class and me­dia – did noth­ing to stop the grotesque be­hav­iour of one of its most pow­er­ful moguls.

The hypocrisy, the moral de­prav­ity, the cul­ture of lies of that Es­tab­lish­ment have never been so starkly ex­posed to the dis­gusted pub­lic gaze as it is to­day.

For We­in­stein, it doesn’t mean he is re­pent­ing in sack­cloth and ashes, of course. It means he is fly­ing off in his pri­vate jet to check into ‘rehab’ in Europe.

BE­CAUSE ap­par­ently it’s We­in­stein him­self who is in need of ex­pen­sive help here – not the young women he has been bul­ly­ing and abus­ing for decades.

In the mean­time, those who pre­vi­ously danced at­ten­dance upon him or were pho­tographed with him, are des­per­ately try­ing to pre­serve their own ca­reers, by scrab­bling to dis­tance them­selves from him like rats in a ter­rier pit.

One by one they’re lin­ing up to con­demn the man they worked with, dined with and lauded to the starry skies at the Os­cars.

Ox­ford fel­low Emma Wat­son, who has ad­dressed the UN it­self on gen­der equal­ity, pro­fesses her­self hor­ri­fied at the rev­e­la­tions. So too does anti-rape cam­paigner An­gelina Jolie, along with Gwyneth Pal­trow, Rosanna Ar­quette and Mira Sorvino, all of whom have now said he made ap­proaches to them some years ago – yet chose to keep quiet about it.

We have to take other stars at their word when they say they knew noth­ing of his ‘shock­ing’ be­hav­iour, even though We­in­stein’s habit of rou­tinely forc­ing him­self on young women – among his lat­est ac­cusers is Laura Whit­more, who in the last few days de­scribed her en­coun­ters with him as ‘creepy’ and ‘un­pro­fes­sional’ – was said to be com­mon knowl­edge in the film in­dus­try.

For the broader, cre­ative and arts es­tab­lish­ment out­side of the US also must take its share of the blame. We­in­stein was awarded a CBE, made a fel­low of the Bri­tish Film In­sti­tute and a mem­ber of Bafta. Can it re­ally be the case that no one in any of th­ese in­sti­tu­tions had heard of his preda­tory be­hav­iour?

Did Tina Brown, New York’s pub­lish­ing queen and wife of for­mer Sun­day Times edi­tor Sir Harold Evans, not know about We­in­stein’s rep­u­ta­tion?

Af­ter all, she was poached from the New Yorker by We­in­stein and his brother Bob to edit their magazine, Talk, in the 1990s – but only now has she pub­licly turned against her for­mer boss, declar­ing: ‘Hon­our to the brave women who spoke . . .’

In­deed, it is only those brave women who ini­tially blew the whis­tle on We­in­stein, such as ac­tress Ash­ley Judd, know­ing that it could ruin their ca­reers for ever, who emerge with any credit here.

Oth­ers come out of this ugly story with no credit at all.

And what makes their fes­ter­ing sanc­ti­mony so much worse is the way Hol­ly­wood’s tol­er­ance of We­in­stein’s ac­tiv­i­ties con­trasts so dra­mat­i­cally with its hys­ter­i­cal con­dem­na­tions of Don­ald Trump.

True, Trump’s record with women is hardly un­blem­ished, but if Hol­ly­wood’s lu­mi­nar­ies are so up­set by him, why was We­in­stein al­lowed to get away with it for so long?

YouTube com­men­ta­tor Paul Joseph Wat­son has wit­tily dubbed this Trump Derange­ment Syn­drome: the ten­dency of lefty luvvies to be so blinded by their foam­ing ha­tred for the cur­rent Pres­i­dent that they can see no evil any­where else. Let us not for­get the cer­e­mony when ac­tresses in­clud­ing Pa­tri­cia Ar­quette, win­ner of the best sup­port­ing ac­tress award, used their speeches to cham­pion women’s rights at what be­came know as the ‘fem­i­nist Os­cars’ in 2015 – the same year We­in­stein al­legedly pushed a fe­male as­sis­tant ‘into giv­ing him a mas­sage while he was naked, leav­ing her “cry­ing and very dis­traught”’, ac­cord­ing to the New York Times.

Hol­ly­wood’s rank hypocrisy over the We­in­stein af­fair is echoed among the luvvies’ good friends on the po­lit­i­cal left. An­other ar­dent cam­paigner for women, Hil­lary Clin­ton, re­mained silent for five whole days af­ter the scan­dal broke be­fore con­demn­ing her gen­er­ous po­lit­i­cal fun­der.

Barack Obama, usu­ally so full of high-flown words, and his wife Michelle, also took days to con­demn We­in­stein, although Michelle was only too happy re­cently to aim a sharp speech at Don­ald Trump about wealthy and pow­er­ful men abus­ing women.

Most egre­gious of all, per­haps, is that queen bee of Hol­ly­wood her­self, Meryl Streep. She spent nearly her en­tire re­cent Os­car speech at­tack­ing the Pres­i­dent, and say­ing she had spent much of her time lately in ‘scream­ing and lamen­ta­tion’ – while si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­fer­ring ador­ingly to Har­vey We­in­stein as ‘God’.

Mamma Mia! How’s that for fem­i­nist val­ues?

BUT if Streep is so con­cerned with bul­ly­ing and women’s rights, where was she all those years when We­in­stein was forc­ing him­self on pow­er­less young ac­tresses and good­ness knows who? She was as silent as the grave, and in­sists she knew noth­ing – although many peo­ple cer­tainly ap­peared to know.

There are dis­turb­ing al­le­ga­tions about how, back in 2004, male ac­tors Matt Da­mon and Russell Crowe – both of whom worked with We­in­stein – per­son­ally phoned Sharon Wax­man, a re­porter work­ing on an ex­posé of the Mi­ra­max pro­ducer for the New York Times, to get her to drop the piece.

This week Wax­man tweeted: ‘Hey Matt Da­mon what’s it like to be a spine­less prof­i­teer who stays silent?’ Da­mon has de­nied he helped sup­press the story.

Mean­while, one of We­in­stein’s al­leged vic­tims, ac­tress Rose Mc­Gowan, was in­fu­ri­ated by Bat­man star Ben Af­fleck’s be­lated state­ment call­ing We­in­stein’s be­hav­iour ‘un­ac­cept­able’. In a tweet, she sug­gested Af­fleck must have known what We­in­stein was ac­cused of.

The We­in­stein Com­pany’s board has hur­riedly is­sued a state­ment con­demn­ing We­in­stein’s ac­tions as ‘an­ti­thet­i­cal to hu­man de­cency’.

‘Hu­man de­cency?’ Hol­ly­wood knows all about that, doesn’t it?

To­day the pub­lic is sick to death of Hol­ly­wood’s over­paid su­per­stars, their iden­tikit pol­i­tics, their bleat­ing, herd­like be­hav­iour, their clichéd and pre­dictable pro­nounce­ments on ev­ery­thing from fem­i­nism to global warm­ing, their ut­ter in­ca­pac­ity for in­de­pen­dent thought, their shame­ful lack of courage and their moral vacu­ity.

They may play daunt­less su­per­heroes and feisty kick-ass hero­ines on screen, but the We­in­stein af­fair has ex­posed them – for the way they flaunt their moral cre­den­tials – to be noth­ing more than amoral, money-grab­bing cow­ards.

Mid­dle man: With Gwyneth Pal­trow (left) and Cameron Diaz

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