What a week it has been in the world of entertainment. And the story that everyone is talking about is the one surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and allegations of sexual misconduct.
Ever since the New York Times published its damning exposé last week, more and more revelations have been brought to light from women in the film and television industries. At least 29 women have now come forward and shared their accounts of harrassment and abuse, ranging from Hollywood A-listers such as Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, to foreign film stars Asia Argento and Emma de Caunes, to office assistants and up-and-comers.
The explosive piece written by Ronan Farrow, who has previously spoken out against his own father Woody Allen’s sexual behaviour, in The New Yorker has added more fuel to the fire, with its allegation that there is a deeper pattern of sexual harassment, intimidation and, in several instances, rape to be found at the heart of this story.
And while the backlash against Weinstein has been swift – he has been fired from the board of his own production company and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapaman, has announced her plans to file for divorce – fingers now are being pointed at the industry itself for its complicit involvement in the scandal, and the general ethos of sexism within the entertainment business at large. With some of the accusations dating back decades, the question being asked is just how Weinstein was able to get away with this behaviour for so long.
Even the reputations of Hollywood golden boys Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and even Russell Crowe, have taken a hit due to their relationship with the producer. And in the aftermath of this scandal, it looks like the whole industry has put been on notice, with the news coming out that Affleck is now facing sexual harrassment allegations of his own.
If anything productive can be taken away from all this awfulness, it is perhaps that Hollywood can get its act together and finally rid itself of those misogynist traits that have brought shame on it for far too long.
In a shocking discovery, according to TMZ, Weinstein was allowed to stay on with The Weinstein Company regardless of how many sexual harassment claims were lodged, so long as he paid settlement costs and a penalty to the company.
The producer has now checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic and has begged the industry and media to give him a “second chance”. Chris Prindiville