When Kate Winslet won an Oscar for her role in the 2009 movie The Reader, she thanked 19 people by name. It was a long, long list of people she felt she owed something to. However, one prominent name was missing from her list: Harvey Weinstein.
Now that a scandal has broken out involving Weinstein, Winslet explains why she didn’t mention the Hollywood mogul, even though he produced the movie.
That was deliberate. That was absolutely deliberate. “I remember being told. ‘Make sure you thank Harvey if you win.’ And I remember turning around and saying, ‘No I won’t. No I won’t.’ And it was nothing to do with not being grateful. If people aren’t well-behaved, why would I thank him?
The fact that I’m never going to have to deal with Harvey Weinstein again as long as I live is one of the best things that’s ever happened and I’m sure the feeling is universal.
The reason she hated Weinstein so much isn’t because he sexually abused her. It’s that he’s a bully. And she doesn’t like bullies:
He was bullying and nasty. Going on a business level, he was always very, very hard to deal with — he was rude. He used to call my female agent a [vulgar name for a woman] every time he spoke to her on the telephone.
Although we should, of course, never blame the victim — so we shouldn’t blame Weinstein’s victims for their rape or abuse — it’s crystal clear why Weinstein didn’t even try to abuse Winslet:
In my 20s, I was very forceful and I had a big voice and I would absolutely say things. In my 30s, I didn’t feel it was as necessary to go back over ground that I had visited before. I always stood by everything I said.
In other words, even as a young actress, Winslet let people like Weinstein know what she thought of them. If that meant that he didn’t want her to get a specific role, or that he would pull funding for a movie when there are still scenes to be shot (which is what happened with The Reader), so be it.
Obviously, other ambitious girls and women who want to make it in Hollywood can learn something from that. There’s no need whatsoever to accept any BS from anyone, and especially not from an old pervert who thinks he can use his position and power to bully or even abuse you. Be dominant. Be aggressive. If anyone has a problem with that, well, that’s on them then. Just look at where this attitude brought Winslet: she’s one of the most famous and celebrated actresses in the world… and she made sure Weinstein knew what she thought of him.
That’s how you play this game called “life” without losing your soul and your self-respect.