In the spring of his final year as a movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein was doing what he always did. Or rather what he always did in public view: as opposed to what he has been accused of doing in hotel rooms and deserted office storage rooms. He was fighting a ratings war over a movie with adult content.
The movie was 3 Generations. It had been made two years earlier to cash in on the transgender
boom. Back then it was called About Ray. But the reviews were bad and the movie was pulled a few days before it was supposed to be released. What do you do with a bad politically correct movie that you paid $6 million for? You start a culture war. And that’s exactly what Harvey Weinstein did.
He enlisted GLAAD, the gay rights group, to lobby for a PG-13 rating for the newly renamed movie.
"The Weinstein Company dared to tell culture-changing LGBTQ stories that Hollywood too often shies away from,” GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis shilled.
It didn’t hurt that Harvey was a donor to GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign. Weinstein had even presented his pal, Bill Clinton, with a GLAAD award at its awards show.
Harvey’s gambit didn’t pay off financially. The reviews for 3 Generations were just as bad this time around. And it took in $60,000. Or 1 percent of what Harvey had paid for it. But Harvey had known two years ago that the movie wouldn’t make money. The 3 Generations campaign wasn’t about the movie, but about Harvey Weinstein’s brand as a courageous mogul on the political cutting edge of the industry.
Harvey Weinstein wasn’t really in the movie business. He was in the culture business.
Some of his movies were meant for general audiences. But mostly he sold the illusion of culture to a prosperous leftist elite. Sometimes that meant traditional highbrow British Oscar bait like The King’s Speech or Shakespeare in Love. But much of the time it meant pandering to their politics.
And thus, 3 Generations, for the transgender category, The Hunting Ground, for the campus rape category, Fruitvale Station, for police brutality, Wind River, for Native American oppression, and, if you reach back far enough, Fahrenheit 9/11 for the anti-war category and Miral, for the anti-Israel category.
And countless others.
Harvey Weinstein didn’t get all his Oscars and his clout in the industry because he had good taste. Or even a good idea of what would work. The 3 Generations debacle is a reminder of that. The New York Times pulled the trigger on the story that brought him down, after blocking a similar story in his heyday, because his company was faltering and no longer all that valuable to the finances of the big lefty paper.
Even at his peak, he was never all that big when compared to the big boys of the industry. His estimated net worth is under $300 million. What made him think he could grab Gwyneth Paltrow, the goddaughter of Steven Spielberg, an industry titan with a net worth of $3 billion, and get away with it?
All that clout which brought in Oscars, fawning media profiles and the frightened compliance of the women he abused, didn’t come from his cash, it came from his role as a culture warrior of the left.
When Harvey Weinstein wanted to bully the MPAA and promote a bad movie, he had the heads of the biggest gay rights groups at his beck and call. When he wanted to push Miral, an anti-Israel movie that was just as bad, he got it screened at the UN General Assembly Hall. When he wanted to promote, The Hunting Ground, a discredited documentary, Planned Parenthood was eager to step up.
Why was everyone from the United Nations to GLAAD so eager to accommodate Harvey?
Money was an obvious factor. Harvey donated enthusiastically to left-wing groups like Planned Parenthood and GLAAD. Just this year, he helped endow a chair in Gloria Steinem’s name.
But money wasn’t enough. Hollywood’s bigwigs routinely write big checks for trendy causes.
Harvey Weinstein got his clout as a culture warrior. An alphabet soup of lefty groups, right up to the UN, was eager to give him what he wanted because they saw him as championing their agenda.
He rolled out movies that pushed the left’s social and political agendas like no other company did. And in return, he got the same “rape pass” that Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton and other top lefties did.
It wasn’t mere money that intimidated his victims. Harvey’s millions alone didn’t buy him the right to assault and then silence women, some of whom became famous and powerful in their own right, in an industry that is the subject of constant media attention and scrutiny. It was his connections on the left.
Harvey Weinstein shoveled large amounts of money into the media and lefty groups. But more than mere cash, he had their loyalty because he fought the cultural battles that they wanted him to fight.
And they provided him with exactly the stories he wanted. And none of the stories he didn’t want.
The media is hunting through Hollywood to find out who knew about Harvey. And everyone knew and said nothing. They said nothing because the media would have destroyed them. Look back at the old stories about Harvey’s conflicts with the MPAA, with Jewish groups over Miral, and so many others, and it’s easy to spot the heavy hand of Harvey in every article. The media let him write the story.
It let him write the story because he was telling their stories in theaters across the country.
What no one in Hollywood or the media can say is that the women whom he abused were collateral damage in a culture war. Harvey ran an assembly line on which movies about the left’s latest social agenda were rolled out. If you wanted campus rapes, police brutality, transgender, gay rights, anti-Israel or anything from the Left “R” Us emporium, he made it happen. And the price was ignoring the screams coming from his hotel rooms and the office storage rooms that he allegedly brought women to.
The left paid that price. It paid it, until Harvey wasn’t good for it anymore. And then it came to collect.
Harvey Weinstein didn’t assault women ‘despite’ his leftist politics as the media alleges in its fumbling efforts to connect him to toxic masculinity. He assaulted women because of his leftist politics. It was his politics that made him feel safe assaulting women. And it was his politics that made them feel unsafe about turning him in. How do you take on a man who has Planned Parenthood in his back pocket?
And it was his cultural transgressiveness that won him a pass. The cultural pioneers of the left who break all sorts of sexual boundaries are expected to occasionally transgress boundaries like consent. That’s true across the entertainment industry. And it was true across the counterculture in general.
How many rapes were there at Occupy Wall Street camps and how much sexual harassment was there in the Bernie Sanders campaign? That’s how leftist political and culture wars have always worked.
Harvey Weinstein’s willingness to push cultural boundaries insulated him from accusations of abuse by, on the one hand, making him appear too virtuously leftist to do such a thing, and on the other hand, giving him a pass for being too transgressive to be bound by the conventions of bourgeois morality.
And Harvey’s shabby defenses have called on both arguments, trying to wrap himself in the cause of gun control, signaling his usefulness to the left, and invoking the culture of the 70s, to create complicity.
Harvey is still hoping that the left’s culture war can be invoked to protect its fallen monster.
Even now, it’s still incapable of acknowledging that a leftist can sexually abuse and rape. Its political tribalism is so strong that it needs to associate Harvey with Trump to be able to condemn him.
And that, more than anything else, shows why the media covered for Harvey Weinstein.
The women whom Harvey allegedly abused knew that the media’s rule is that there are no enemies to the left. And Harvey had worked hard to always stay to the left of everyone else. Including his victims.
best artical about weinstein i have read so far. no one else gets the whole picture. the man was a major agenda pusher. just think how intrumental he was in our culture.ReplyDelete
Culture warrior or money launderer? I have to wonder if Harvey doesn't care about anything other than creative accounting. With a few tentpole movies you can paper over intentional losses on other properties that were created to lose money. Why lose? Because that's what money laundering is. That's where drug money and cartel money and Chinese money and rick liberal tax evasion money goes. It's entirely plausible that Harveywood is a house of cards, a big Jenga tower. The social justice noise is a convenient cover for movies that will never make their budgets. Pump millions of dollars in and it evaporates into paper losses.ReplyDelete
The media share some of the guilt.ReplyDelete
They clearly knew about Weinstein, they generally know about most things.
Then break a story when the timing suits them.
So be delaying what he was up to, they allowed other women to be raped.
And it was rape, not merely some sort of "mutually beneficial agreement" that furthered careers.
He went way beyond that; bullied his victims. The actions of psychopath.
Charming on the outside, to ingratiate himself in circles of influence.
A veneer of bonhomie.
Jews who criticise Israel in public in such a way are probably Erev Rav.
The Good Ship Weinstein has been sunk. This is a significant victory in the current war. As a high priest of post-modernism, he promoted all the anti Traditional ideas being waged by his side. The "Trump" effect is in full force; that wave will take others in the near future. Lefties watch out.ReplyDelete
Bravo. I couldn't shake the "what's wrong with all this Harvey coverage?" until I read this post by Greenfield. Teddy, Bill, Harvey. All got a free pass for so long because of their politics. The left has to associate Donald to make it palatable to their own. Such sickness. Thank you, Sultanknish. Well done.ReplyDelete
I agree with one of the other commenters this is the best article I've seen on this.ReplyDelete
I am confused by the notion bandied here that Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy got a "free pass" for their behavior. Clinton was impeached and disbarred, and for 50 years Kennedy's name could not be mentioned without people referencing his behavior.ReplyDelete
Clinton finished his presidency, & still has millions of adoring fans. Kennedy's name was mud for a few years but didn't stop him from being elected & reelected & being accoladed & lauded after his death.Delete
Spot-on article, Daniel. It's motivated me to create a list of all Weinstein-made or associated movies that I will never watch. This man was such a pig, such a slime-bag,such a Jabba the Hutt knockoff, that perhaps Lucas got the idea for Jabba by observing Weinstein in action. This article is a wake-up call for anyone who thinks that Hollywood is "apolitical."ReplyDelete
Wind River is one of the best movies I’ve seen in years. I don’t care who made it. And it’s not about American Indian oppression.ReplyDelete
"Collateral Damage in the Left's Culture War" Not unlike the "bimbos" in Bill Clinton's bimbo eruptions. Feminism, yeah! But no need to be fanatic about it, if it furthers the cause!ReplyDelete
It has occurred to me that perhaps some of the women who claimed Weinstein raped them thought, at the time, they were just paying their dues that came with the Hollywood territory, were acting against their repressive upbringings, or both. Further, when someone believes that it's all just money and power, does anyone have a right to be shocked when he gets abusive? This is not to defend Weinstein. He is clearly a horrible person, but that is a judgment that makes sense only if the older Christian morality has something to it.ReplyDelete
Daniel's coverage of this story is far the best I've read, as some of the commenters have said.ReplyDelete
Fine piece - the tragedy is that such powerful, true words will never see the light of day on any mainstream TV station.ReplyDelete
@fizziks True that Clinton and Kennedy paid a price. But notice that the left were not the ones making sure they paid. Both continue (or continued) to be given a pass by the left.ReplyDelete
I agree with Kepha. These women knew the price of admission and paid it willingly. I lived in LA and always thought Hollywood was an industry of whores. The Weinstein story is just confirmation.
This is as good a theory as any others I've read but as with the other theories there is at least one unanswered question which undermines the plausibility. This one is why now? The article attempts to answer that by saying he isn't as useful for their causes than he once was, but so what? The article didn't go so far as to say he was going to hurt their causes so wouldn't it be a better position for the NYT and Leftist power brokers to simply take the middle position between protecting him and throwing him under the bus? Especially when they had to realize there would be collateral damage from the Pandora's Box they opened.ReplyDelete
No, something stinks and we still haven't found the cause.
"Harvey Weinstein didn’t assault women ‘despite’ his leftist politics as the media alleges in its fumbling efforts to connect him to toxic masculinity. He assaulted women because of his leftist politics."ReplyDelete
Why? Is believing that your own body is your own just too bourgeois and conservative to be tolerated? Or to believe that your own body is private property and not to be touched against your will just too conservative? Why?
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This women aren't saints, they knew exactly what they were doing. They made a transaction, their bodies for movie roles. Probably a few changed their minds and Weinstein went too far. So what's the result? A stepping up of the war on men where any attention paid to a woman by an unattractive man is sexual assault.ReplyDelete
Fantastic article, but I'm left with one question...WHAT changed that deprived Harvey the Pig of his media protection?ReplyDelete
Very descriptive article, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a partReplyDelete