The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Harvey Weinstein yesterday in what is being portrayed swift action for his decades of sexual misconduct.
But I’m not fooled.
These guys are moving quickly to punish Weinstein not because it’s the right thing to do.
This swift action is nothing but damage control.
I have no doubt that Hollywood is looking to make Weinstein the sacrificial lamb.
They want him to be the scapegoat so that nobody looks any further than Harvey and his peek-a-boo bathrobe.
You know I’m right about this.
It’s damage control.
Too many eyes are turned on Hollywood’s perverse culture – a culture these same people have worked tirelessly to keep under wraps for decades.
And the last thing they want is for anyone to get the idea that Harvey is one of many.
So they’re acting swiftly – all with breathless outrage and disgust.
From the agents who are withholding talent from the Weinstein Company to the Academy expelling him – all of them are moving with lightning speed to give the impression that they never tolerate this kind of behavior.
But they do.
And not only have they tolerated it; many of them participated in it.
In their statement after ousting Weinstein, the Academy board said [Hat tip the Los Angeles Times]:
“We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify.”
”Harvey’s gone everyone. So move along. Nothing more to see here. It’s over.”
But it isn’t over.
This “sexually predatory behavior” didn’t begin with Harvey Weinstein. And it will not end with his disgrace.
But that’s exactly what they want you to think.
As actor Scott Baio’s wife Renee put it on Twitter:
They did not fire Harvey Weinstein because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because we found out!
— Renee Baio (@MrsScottBaio) October 12, 2017
And therein lies the motive for the swift action.
This is damage control. Because these people in Hollywood know that Harvey Weinstein wasn’t some one-off perv who sullied a noble and morally upright profession.
He’s the rule, not the exception.
So they believe being swift and decisive in dealing with him will fool us into thinking the problem is solved.
And trust me. The media – both entertainment and news – will happily work with them to advance the narrative that Harvey is the one bad apple.
They hope now that they’ve offered up a scalp, we’ll all just go back to ignoring the systemic culture of perversion in Hollywood.
There’s a reason Harvey and his tear-away bathrobe fit right in.
Because he isn’t the one bad apple – the whole bushel is a slimy, rotten mess.
But time will tell.
It may be that Harvey Weinstein was only the first domino to fall.
Now that women are coming forward, the momentum may be unstoppable.
And no amount of damage control will close the floodgates.
But then again, if these very vocal actresses clam up after Weinstein has faded from the front page, we’ll know that even they don’t want to upset the apple cart.
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