Roger L. Simon

Harvey Weinstein and the Death of 'Feminism'

Harvey Weinstein and the Death of 'Feminism'
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and producer Harvey Weinstein attend the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World, cocktail party at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for TIME)

You don’t need the Harvey Weinstein scandal to know that Hollywood is the world’s capital of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do hypocrisy.  You only need to be breathing.

From jetting the globe more frequently in private planes than most people go to the supermarket while inveighing against global warming to living in thirty million dollar homes and sending your kids to posh private schools while assailing school choice for the masses to, yes, making movies about sexual assault while assaulting females for decades in the privacy of their offices and swank hotel rooms, Hollywood has done it all!

And indeed it has been this way for decades and everybody who lives and works here knows it.  The casting couch never went away.  It just moved off the studio lot, for the most part, and went underground, sort of.

Anyone who takes seriously anything said about politics by Hollywood types — and that includes those tedious and increasingly unfunny individuals known as late-night talk show hosts — ought to have his/her proverbial head examined.

Which leads me to the question of Harvey and “feminism.”  While no one can characterize Weinstein as anything but a pig, the various women now coming out of the woodwork to report his repellent behavior (with more undoubtedly to come) are not exactly the purest people on the planet either. Unless they had IQs in the low 70s, these women knew full well in advance what they were getting into when they came to Hollywood and, specifically, when they went to work either as actresses or employees for Harvey Weinstein.  Greedy and ambitious in the world’s most glamorous game, many of them apparently ignored the moral “contradictions” and became Harvey’s enablers, just as they were for similar notorious characters like the late Don Simpson.

Were they, at that that same time, spouting feminist rhetoric along with Harvey?  Some certainly were.

Take Ashley Judd, aka the born again “Nasty Woman,” who is the supposedly brave soul at the center of the supposedly sensational New York Times report.  She went to have a breakfast meeting with Weinstein at the Beverly Hills Peninsula Hotel and when she arrived found Harvey wanted to have said meeting in his room. What could that possibly mean?  Well, almost anybody could answer that in a moment.  Did she do the sensible thing and say she preferred the hotel’s lovely dining room?  Clearly not. She went upstairs.  Her career obviously trumped her values — or what she chooses to tell us are her values.

It takes two to tango, as they say.  Weinstein — for all the Bill Clinton-like exploitation of power going on — was not drugging these women á la Cosby.  He was waving starring roles and cash.  Many, if not most, bought into the trade.  Years later they want to complain about it and cry “feminism”  or something.  Excuse me, if I’m not impressed.  Hadn’t they ever read a novel by Fitzgerald or Schulberg or at least read an issue of the National Enquirer?  No one made them come to Hollywood. They could have become rural doctors treating the poor or have gone to work for the equivalent of Mother Teresa.  But they wanted the Big Flash.

Now I’m not saying Hollywood should be the way it is, nor do I remotely approve of Weinstein (who gives me the creeps).  I’m just trying to inject a little reality.  Human life, as it’s lived, is complex and often ugly.

Speaking of which, Harvey Weinstein professes to believe in liberal causes and donates wads of cash to various Democratic politicians, including, frequently, Madame Pants Suit herself.  Needless to say, the Dems are quickly running to the exits:

On Thursday, Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, was the first to announce he’d be giving away the money Weinstein has donated to his re-election campaign committee over the years. The total was $5,600 with $2,799 of that being put toward his 2016 bid.

“Sen. Leahy is donating Mr. Weinstein’s contributions to the Women’s Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation, specifically the Change the Story Initiative,” his representative Carolyn Dwyer confirmed to USA TODAY.

Booker’s donation will go to the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault,  Jeff Giertz, a Booker spokesperson, told The Record.

I guess we’re supposed to believe these pols had no idea what Harvey Weinstein was like until these current revelations.  As Moon Unit Zappa put it so succinctly years ago, “Gag me with a spoon.”

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media.  His latest book is I Know Best:  How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If  It Hasn’t Already.