Assuming the allegations are true, film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment of numerous women in Hollywood over multiple years is disgusting.
Last week, Weinstein was accused of using his powerful position in Hollywood to sexually prey on many women for over 30 years. The New York Times published an exposé accusing him of sexually harassing a number of women.
He has since been fired from The Weinstein Company, one of the biggest film studios in the country. He was the producer of dozens of well-known and multiple-Oscar-winning movies over the past few decades.
But, more importantly, he is a gross, creepy Hollywood producer. He is a verbally profane bully and a sexual predator.
And while it's great that he was fired, we can't forget that he wasn't fired until he was caught. There had been numerous rumors about Weinstein's behavior in the past, but they were always dismissed by Hollywood and the mainstream media. There is a toxicity in the business that is too forgiving when it comes to powerful men.
Weinstein’s now-former lawyer Lisa Bloom asked the public to understand that Weinstein was “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” She said she had to explain 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.”
His is not “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” Almost as outrageous as the sexual misconduct is his whining, self-excusing reasoning that he came from a different time period, when it was apparently acceptable to harass people.
Hollywood and the media often overlook these things. Whether it's the president of the United States grabbing women by the genitals or Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and others at Fox News, men are given slap on the wrists for this inexcusable behavior.
The problem of sexual harassment goes well beyond Hollywood. Today, even though we are talking about sexual assault more, and even though schools are routinely required to teach on the topic, this behavior persists.
Powerful men are going to continue getting away with harassing people unless more people speak up about it. Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet have released condemning statements about Weinstein; more men need to do so.
All work environments should face these demons. They should no longer ignore or tolerate sexual harassment by the powerful against the powerless just because of money. And men that are exposed for these things should not be allowed to get away with it. Ignorance is no excuse.