I mostly avoid the media machine but there’s something about this Weinstein mess that I just can’t stand.
It bothers me that we get so publicly outraged with Weinstein, and seemingly pretend he is one isolated example. Pigs live in pigsties.
It bothers me lots of people knew about this, and indeed, even some women were complicit, for a very long time, yet they allowed the abuse to continue.
It’s unrealistic to imagine we might live in a world that is evolved beyond dirty old men groping on women, or where victims are empowered enough to stand up for themselves.
But it is realistic to expect that others with power in Hollywood who knew about this would have done more than make a joke.
Countless young women, daughters, sisters, mothers, wives have been abused over decades because nobody was willing to put an end to it.
I worked for a messed-up boss once.
The only power I had was to lawyer up and go nuclear against the firm, which was a terrible idea.
I shouldn’t have needed to put my life on the line, assemble my own army, and wage war against their broken leader.
The leaders of the firm should have led, and taken care of their problem.
Just like the Catholic Church, when you cover it up, you only perpetuate it, and create more future victims.
It is up to those leaders with power to do what’s right for those who are powerless to act on their own.
Hollywood Can Lead Now
Strong leaders in Hollywood should have taken care of Weinstein long ago.
But given he has revealed himself now, and again exposed their grimy underbelly, they should act powerfully in making an example out of him.
Kicking him out of the Academy is like telling a kid they can’t go to drama class, when they can use his falling star to put a dint in his lecherous universe of disgusting people.
After commenting to the effect that in hundreds of meetings he had never seen Harvey outright rape a woman, Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg went on to say—
“The casting couch has been in Hollywood from the beginning… The complicity around the acceptance of it and silence about it is the crime.”
That’s a great line for a screenplay, but let’s see if Hollywood leaders choose to do more than make a six-part mini-series about their industry’s ritual abuse.
Good leadership is many things, and is certainly these two.
Two-faced Harvey’s brother may be surprised to learn he was a rapist, but he knew he was a bad dude, and a bad boss.
As he put it, “I’ll tell you what I did know. Harvey was a bully, Harvey was arrogant, he treated people like shit all the time. That I knew. And I had to clean up for so many of his employee messes.”
He couldn’t have said something sooner? Or perhaps, actually, been a leader of his own company and done something about it?
People say—but you must understand, it’s hard to stand up to a man like Harvey, what might his brother have done?
Yes. It is hard.
Which is why we need good, strong men and women taking accountability and leading.
2. Solution Focused
Leaders are all about solutions all the time.
But what do you see from Hollywood?
Most obviously, their devilish delight in tarring and feathering one of their own whose wings finally burned off, but then what?
Will it be like the massacre in Las Vegas?
Will we forget about it as soon as a “more important” story comes along, and then just wait to be “surprised” next time it happens?
Or, do we actually do something to help prevent this from happening?
Weinstein as an Example
Every mature adult knows that Hollywood has a dark pedigree of exploitation and pedophilia—as Elijah Wood “shockingly” stated as fact—and we know that you can’t rely on victims to do what took decades with Cosby and Harvey.
So, how does Hollywood go one step further here?
Sure, criminal proceedings is one thing, but how do they send a message that the next person will get it 100X worse?
How do they send a message to every person who, like Bernie Madoff’s little helpers, knew about this and did nothing about it?
Like the Three-strikes law, or Saddam swinging from a noose, use Harvey as a powerful deterrent to all pigs.
Then Hollywood can proudly make it’s six-part mini-series, Weinstein Leading by Example.