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Weinstein’s Outing Won’t Solve Hollywood’s “Forgiveness” Problem

By Mason Masotta; For The Clock
On November 6, 2017

Weinstein’s Outing Won’t Solve Hollywood’s “Forgiveness” Problem 

I’ve known Harvey Weinstein for a long time,” Donald Trump stated to CNN reporters. “I’m not at all surprised.” This statement by the President of the United States, responding to the recent reports by dozens of Hollywood actresses about sexual harassment and possible assault by Weinstein, is a chilling one.

It has to be said that this is not a political event or a “red versus blue” issue that needs to be addressed. The problem lies deeper in society and is so uncomfortable that few are willing to observe it.

The concept of a powerful Hollywood producer exposing himself and harassing the aspiring female talent is almost a goofy stereotype associated with the industry. That right there is a major reason why these things never change--not just in film, unfortunately. But in nearly every aspect of American culture.

The story is almost always the same. A man abuses a woman in some display of misogynistic intent, possibly even violently. The woman comes forward and shares her story. The man is punished marginally, and is quickly accepted back into society with open arms. Is there any doubt that this is the case?

Take, for example, Mel Gibson’s recent couple of years. Consider his bouts of recorded anti-Semitic remarks in 2006, and his beha vior with his girlfriend in 2010. He was recorded threatening his her and demanding sexual favors claiming that she “owed” him.

Hollywood was quick to call out the tasteless behavior of Gibson, but has welcomed him back with open arms in their support of his newest works, like the Academy Award-winning “Hacksaw Ridge.”

Even the NFL shares this same sentiment of “forgetfulness.” Michael Vick ran a dog fighting rink and was quickly picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles after serving time in prison. Is American culture so starved of entertainment that it will forgive any transgressions celebrities make?

The answer is “yes,” but it goes a bit deeper than that. Hollywood has been painted in recent years as one of the most liberal institutions on the planet. Nearly every award show since the November election results have featured defiant protests against the new administration.

Already, Hollywood has seemed to have forgotten “#OscarsSoWhite,” or repeated complaints from actresses dissatisfied that they do not make pay comparable to those of their male costars. Tweeting about disgust with Weinstein will do nothing to change the shape of an industry so large.

It will only be when the men and woman of the film industry decide that it would be better to pass up the multimillion dollar pay day than let abhorrent behavior be forgotten that any substantial change will come. 

 

 

Mason Masotta

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