Weinstein allegations exposeHollywooddouble standard
LOS ANGELES— When the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape leaked last year, capturing Donald Trump bragging in coarse terms in 2005 about being allowed to grab women because he was a celebrity, Hollywood had a meltdown.
Cher called Trump a “scumbag carny barker” on Twitter. Comedian Patton Oswalt labeled him a “sexist creep.”
This week, with revelations that Oscar- winning movie and television producer Harvey Weinstein had a long history of sexually harassing women, Hollywood’s response was largely muted. Film studios on Friday all declined to comment.
“Yup. Hollywood shines light on Catholic Church, sex trafficking — let’s shine it on ourselves a second and what we’ve condoned,” actress- writerproducer Lena Dunham wrote on Twitter, one of the few celebrities who took a public stand.
Hollywood has a poor track record when it comes to women.
“Hollywood likes to project an image of being progressive about issues of race, gender and social issues — but at the end of the day it is an incredibly regressive industry,” said Caroline Heldman, a college professor who has worked with alleged victims of Bill Cosby and Weinstein. “It is an indus- try that, in many ways, looks more like the 1950s.”
Weinstein, who has taken a leave of absence from his company, attributed his alleged conduct to coming of age “in the ’ 60s and ’ 70s, when all of the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.” On Friday, his company’s board said it was investigating the allegations.
Attorney Lisa Bloom said Saturday that she is no longer representing Weinstein.
“My understanding is that Mr. Weinstein and his board are moving toward an agreement,” Bloom said in announcing her resignation on Twitter.
In addition, TV news anchor Lauren Sivan in Los Angeles lodged another claim of misconduct against the movie mogul in a HuffPost report Friday, and a third board member resigned from Weinstein’s company.
The board of directors has pressured Weinstein to step down from the company he helped create, said a person familiar with the board’s deliberations who was not authorized to speak publicly. Weinstein has resisted.
Allegations of sexual misconduct have toppled other entertainment figures, including Fox News architect Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly. All have denied wrongdoing.
Instead of expressing shock or even dismay, Hollywood insiders acknowledged that Weinstein’s behavior was an “open secret,” the fodder of gossip for decades.
President Donald Trump was asked by reporters Saturday to weigh in on the embattled Hollywood figure.
“I’ve known Harvey Weinstein a long time,” Trump replied. When asked if he was surprised by the accusations, the president replied: “Not at all.”
Trump brushed off a query about his 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape comments, in which he bragged about women letting him kiss them and grab their genitals because he is famous.
“That’s locker room,” he said, echoing his characterization of the remarks after the audio was revealed during last year’s presidential campaign.
Conservatives, who have spent years chafing when Hollywood celebrities moralized about social causes, had a field day over the Weinstein scandal. The Republican Party sent email blasts to members and the media naming Democrats who have accepted money from Weinstein.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.