October 12, 2017

BECKET ADAMS: Hollywood is brave so long as the targets are easy.

Everything about the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal is shocking.

From the number of alleged victims, to the high-profile celebrities who say they were abused by the Hollywood heavyweight, there’s nothing about this story that doesn’t leave one stunned.

What isn’t shocking, however, is that the entertainment industry, whose members pride themselves on their supposed courage, is full of cowards.

As details of Weinstein’s behavior continue to emerge — and they are getting worse by the day — one question continues to overshadow all the rest: How was this allowed to go on for so long when so many people apparently knew about it?

By some accounts, Weinstein’s reported abuse dates back to at least the late 1980s. These same accounts also say the producer’s vile behavior was well-known within the industry. So well-known, in fact, that it was considered Hollywood’s biggest “open secret.” His behavior was even the subject of a sly punchline in 2013 during the Academy Award nominee announcements.

Yet, here we are in 2017, and Weinstein is only now being made to answer for his actions.

It’s one thing for the victims to remain silent, usually because they feel intimidated. That is common for the abused, and you won’t find any criticism of Weinstein’s targets here. But what about the many celebrities and Hollywood operatives who were in on the joke, who have come forward since the damn burst to allege that most of the industry knew about Weinstein? Actors knew. Actresses knew. Other producers knew. People in the press knew.

Not just cowards, but worse. Being in the know made them feel special. They were complicit.