By Michaela Gates, Staff Writer
Within the past week, the name Harvey Weinstein has been everywhere. Weinstein, the co-founder of The Weinstein Company has been an executive producer of famous movies such as Good Will Hunting, Silver Linings Playbook, and of The Lord of the Rings. Despite his successes, he was fired from The Weinstein Company due to allegations of sexual assault.
A slew of women have come forward stating that to one degree or another have been sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Rose McGowan. Not to mention, an extremely disturbing tape recording has also surfaced of Weinstein harassing a model to go into a hotel room with him, even though it is evident the woman is extremely uncomfortable. In the same recording, Weinstein admits to groping the woman the day before.
This leads me to believe that there are more allegations to come within the near future, as Weinstein’s grotesque behavior seems to have no bounds. It appears that each day a new woman speaks out about their experience. From Hollywood royalty such as Jolie and Paltrow, to struggling actresses in the business, are now refusing to stay quiet about their experiences.
However, despite this being brand new information to the general public, many have known for years about Weinstein’s actions. For instance, back in 2013, well known creator of Family Guy, Seth McFarlane, made a seemingly offhand joke at the Oscars about Weinstein, stating that Oscar-nominated actresses don’t have to pretend to be attracted to him anymore. The joke was met with nervous laughter from the crowd of film industry elites.
In retrospect, that joke holds huge ramifications for the film industry, as evidently Weinstein’s behavior was no secret among those in tinsel town. Essentially everyone knew it, and they just turned a blind eye to it and did nothing, as Weinstein went on to assault dozens of women. There will hardly be a debate as to if these allegations are true or not, given the sheer amount of them, along with the recording, but they certainly raise a question. Where does this end?
If Weinstein was the head of one of Hollywood’s most successful film companies and got away with his crimes for this long, it is not out of the question to wonder if there are others like him. Weinstein’s case has made it horribly evident that with money, power, and a penis, the law does not apply to you.
It is not like he is the first case of this type either. Bill Cosby needs no introduction, and if you ask me, these two cases have a ton of similarities. Once one woman came forward, a domino effect occurred where one woman after another came forward to talk about their tragic experiences. However, with so many allegations, it takes time to investigate each case of sexual harassment or assault. Therefore, these women will not have reassurance that Weinstein will face justice for quite some time.
Cosby and Weinstein epitomize the idea of the “casting couch”, and the stereotype of the perverted Hollywood executive. It is no longer a joke, but a real thing. Twice in the past two years, we have had Hollywood elites have massive sexual harassment/ assault allegations against them. It hasn’t just been one single woman, but potentially hundreds of innocent women have been victims of the influence of fame and money. It is evident that sexual assault is taking Hollywood by storm and it won’t end unless film executives out their peers who use their fame and money as a tool for sexual conquest.