Sexual harassment in Hollywood isn’t new, but having it exposed is pretty novel, and boy is Harvey Weinstein in hot water now.
The New York Times published a searing exposé describing nearly 30 years of sexual harassment from Harvey Weinstein to women under his employ.
Some chestnuts from that piece:
- In what was supposed to be a breakfast meeting about a role 20 years ago, Harvey Weinstein allegedly asked Ashley Judd if he could give her a massage or if she’d like to watch him shower.
- In 2014, Harvey Weinstein allegedly told a temp employee who’d worked for him for just one day that he’d “boost her career” if she accepted his sexual advances.
- In 2015, Harvey Weinstein allegedly coerced a female employee into giving him a massage while he was naked.
- Harvey Weinstein allegedly reached settlements with “a young assistant in New York in 1990, an actress in 1997, an assistant in London in 1998, an Italian model in 2015.”
- In 1997, Harvey Weinstein allegedly reached a settlement with Rose McGowan that he specified was not an admission of guilt.
“Working for Mr. Weinstein could mean getting him out of bed in the morning and doing ‘turndown duty’ late at night, preparing him for sleep. Like the colleague cited in Ms. O’Connor’s memo, some junior employees required to perform those tasks said they were disturbing.
In interviews, eight women described varying behavior by Mr. Weinstein: appearing nearly or fully naked in front of them, requiring them to be present while he bathed or repeatedly asking for a massage or initiating one himself. The women, typically in their early or mid-20s and hoping to get a toehold in the film industry, said he could switch course quickly — meetings and clipboards one moment, intimate comments the next. One woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.”
In a statement to The New York Times, Harvey Weinstein said, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it. Though I’m trying to do better, I know I have a long way to go.”
Harvey Weinstein lawyered up before the story went to print … and hired Lisa Bloom, attorney for such innocent, upstanding parties as Montia Sabbag, Kathy Griffin, and Blac Chyna, who claims to specialize in sexual harassment cases and wants to empower women, to represent him. Bloom told The New York Times, “[Harvey Weinstein is] an old dinosaur learning new ways … [I have] explained to him that due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating.”
Basically, Lisa Bloom is saying, “Guys, it’s fine. He’s just old, and he’s like, so sorry! Boys will be boys and old men will be old men!” That’s like, super-feminist, you guys. Super-feminist, really helpful, and totally empowering to women.