Harvey Weinstein Is A Pig, But He’s Not The Only One

I have a few thoughts on the Harvey Weinstein affair which seems to dominate so much of the news cycle currently. 

Back in my acting days (IMDB) the casting couch was a well-known phenomenon, and basically just a “given” as being part of “the Biz”. It wasn’t a guarantor of success – there were plenty of stories, whether apocryphal or not was hard to know, about people who succumbed but then ended up on the cutting room floor anyway, their careers going nowhere.

I was a good-looking guy back in the day, so I got the occasional “offer”, from both gays and straights, which I’d simply shrug off. In the “arts”, particularly show business, there are a lot of attractive people, many with the morals of alley cats, in a fluid social situation and work environment with a constant flux of people coming in and out of the setting. Opportunities for what’s nowadays called “hooking up” abounded, so human nature being what it is, there were many who exploited it for sexual gratification.

I think what sets Weinstein apart from others is his aggression, and lack of any restraint; his willingness to push beyond the bounds of “normal” sexual pursuit and engage in acts of outright perversion, and assert force against completely unwilling victims. Not only using, but grossly abusing, his position of power in a disgustingly thuggish manner. His refusal to take “no” for an answer.

Right now this issue’s getting a lot of play, and Weinstein seems to be getting his much-deserved comeuppance (though we’ll have to see how that plays out in the long run). But if people think the phenomenon of “workplace harassment” is going away, I think they’re in for a big disappointment. Unfortunately, we’re talking about something that’s part of the human experience: exploitation, whether for sex or other ends.

This isn’t unique to Weinstein or show business. We’ve all read about the same types of activities taking place in other venues: the military, the board room, the office, politics.

The Weinstein affair is getting all this attention because of the celebrity of the people involved; their notoriety, their high profiles, their magazine-cover fame. But ultimately, this dust will settle, and then what?

Frankly, I don’t think things will change very much. The Hollywood denizens will have expressed their outrage, and patted themselves on the back for their “courage” in speaking out, and everyone will go back to what they were doing before the headlines were splashed all over the place. The “casting couch” will continue, though more discretely. The Weinsteins of the future won’t go as far as actually forcing themselves on unwilling victims, but other than that the status quo will probably remain largely unchanged.

In saying this, I don’t think I’m being cynical. Simply realistic. History is replete with examples. The Fatty Arbuckle scandal of almost 100 years ago; Howard Hughes’s “stable of starlets” back in the ‘40s; Hugh Hefner, the ultimate “dirty old man”, and his revolving door of “playmates”; Bill Clinton’s “bimbo eruptions” and Lewinsky’s blue dress. Harvey Weinstein is simply the latest in a long and sordid line of scandals that have hit the public’s radar only to quickly fade away.

La plus ça change, la plus c’est la même chose.

 

Brian Baker 2017

 (Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal).

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11 comments on “Harvey Weinstein Is A Pig, But He’s Not The Only One

  1. CW says:

    IMO what’s relevant and newsworthy about the Harvey Weinstein story is the extent to which it exposes him and his leftwing Hollywood friends as the phonies and liars that they really are.

    Weinstein is known as a huge supporter of Democrat politics, and Democrats – we are told – are the Party of women. They are the champions of women. The protectors of women. The ones who really care about and respect women. It is Republicans, not Democrats, who are supposed to be waging war on women. Harvey Weinstein has helped to further unmask the truth for what it is.

    After the Access Hollywood tapes came out in which Trump bragged about the inappropriate things he’d done, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and scores of Democrat politicians and Hollywood leftists made speeches and took to Twitter to express their shock and horror and denounce him as unfit. Now we know that all the while they kept silent about much worse from their pal, Harvey Weinstein. This makes them complicit in his crimes.

    I understand that this is something we’ve known all along. The Left’s enduring love of Bill Clinton and attempts to elevate his enabler wife should have long dispelled the myth of Democrats as the Party that stands for women, but they’ve managed to keep the façade going. The exposure of the Hollywood leftist elite as a cabal of pigs who treat women like meat (and women who tolerate such treatment until it becomes popular to take a stand) takes another big chunk out of the façade. As the chips fall away maybe there will come a point when the façade will no longer hold together, and they’ll just have to admit that they’re all a bunch of lying pigs who don’t respect women, this country or anything else except power and the almighty dollar. And then the voters will no longer be able to claim they didn’t know.

    • BrianR says:

      As always, CW, great comment, and my thanks for taking the time to write it.

      But I disagree with you on one thing: that the hypocritical Left will EVER acknowledge their own duplicity. That would take a standard of honesty that they’ve never, in my experience, shown. Ever.

      • CW says:

        I must have read the post too quickly, Brian, because I somehow missed the word “acting” in your second paragraph (I thought it said, “back in my day”) so I was a bit puzzled by the comments afterwards and went back and read it again. It all makes sense now! Looks like your acting niche was in law enforcement. Question: Who tracks all this info for IMBD? Do the actors do this themselves or are there people tirelessly scanning the credits of old TV shows and movies for the database?

        BTW, I don’t mean to brag but I was once in a commercial. I was with my family and visiting relatives in Santa Barbara when a local radio station asked if we wanted to be in a commercial for the station, so we smiled for the camera and said something like “Hi, we’re in Katy country!” I forgot all about it until about a week later when I ran into an acquaintance who said she saw me on TV. So just so you know, I happen to be a celebrity too. I can’t believe IMBD missed it.

      • BrianR says:

        Hahaha!

        Hey, lady, can I have your autograph?

        Yeah, we used to joke that if I did one more cop role I’d qualify for an LAPD pension.

        As to IMDB, I’ve often wondered the same thing. I can’t imagine some poor intern sitting there in front of a TV trying to track everyone’s credits, especially with a zillion channels nowadays. There must be some kind of data-sharing arrangement with SAG. They’d have all the data, even on old shows, because they’re responsible for distribution of residuals.

        It would also conform to my own experience, in that back in the Stone Age, before computers, I was in a few shows that have never rerun — Jigsaw John, Matt Helm, a few others. And I don’t see any of those credits listed on my IMDB profile.

      • CW says:

        Ah, interesting.

        No, I’m sorry. I don’t do autographs any more.

  2. Kathy says:

    Let’s talk a minute about the women who came forward, in particular Ashely Judd. It hasn’t been but a few months since she was standing on a stage wearing a stupid pink hat and screaming vile things about women’s bodies. Now all of a sudden she’s a victim who was so intimidated she was afraid to come forward??

    No, she’s a two-faced liberal whose fame was more important than a few minutes of humiliation. Like the others, she was willing to pay the price for that fame, so we know what their price is now and what their priorities are.

    In the weeks following the news of Harvey’s assaults everybody and their dog has come forward about someone new who assaulted them. Apparently everyone in Hollywood is either a perp or a victim, so I guess it’s a good thing you left when you did, Brian!

    • BrianR says:

      Kathy… LOL!

      Quit holding back. Tell us how you REALLY feel.

      Hell, this stuff was going on when I was there! Nothing new here, folks, let’s move along.

      I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote. Back 30+ years ago when I was still in The Biz, I had my … “opportunities”, but I had WAY too much self-respect for that. No way was I going to demean myself just for the “promise” of some acting gig, and fer sher no one was going to try to force themselves on me, unless they wanted to try to pick the bloody stump of their hand out of their ear. That just wasn’t happening.

      When we were on the set, it would become pretty clear when someone was the product of the “casting couch”. Generally they just didn’t know what they were doing. Untrained, untalented, but usually REALLY good-looking. You’d have had to be dumber than a box of rocks to not know the situation. Those of us who WERE professional would just roll our eyes at each other.

  3. captbogus2 says:

    Tried to leave a reply but can’t find the right words. Yet. Stay tuned.

  4. garnet92 says:

    One of the main driving forces in human behavior is SEX. No surprise there. With both physical and physiological components, we humans are all subject to varying degrees of saturation of our psyche by sex.

    Bertrand Russell thought that there were four major human desires. The “casting couch,” regardless of the situation or location, satisfies (no pun intended) our desires on all four scores.

    The seducer acquires the services of the seduced through whatever means necessary, he (or she) displays superiority over rivals by the conquest, satisfies his/her own vanity by succeeding (especially where others have failed) and exerts power over the seduced by overcoming verbal and/or physical defenses.

    It’s been that way since the caveman days and unless something major happens to our human psyche, it’ll still be that way a hundred years from now.

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