We­in­stein al­le­ga­tions ex­poseHol­ly­wood­dou­ble stan­dard

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - NATION & WORLD -

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.


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