COLUMN: The Shame of Harvey Weinstein and Where Hollywood Goes from Here

Hollywood, California is considered the entertainment capital of the world with characters and names such as Walt Disney, Audrey Hepburn, Mickey Mouse, and The Loony Tunes belonging to the pantheons of cinema. There are any number of equivalents in television, including such names as Andy Griffith, Don Knotts, late-night host Johnny Carson, and of course sci-fi writers Rod Sterling and Gene Roddenberry come to mind, even if some were more opinionated than others. At the end of the day, Hollywood has largely succeeded due to its mission of entertaining people.

In recent times, however, most of Hollywood is being viewed with the same contempt as Congress and the media. One huge reason centers around repeated cases of those in power taking advantaged of vulnerable people.

Instead of helping aspiring actors, actresses, producers, writers, and the like strive for success, recent events have shown the dark side of these relationship (e.g. the concept of the casting couch).

Enter Harvey Weinstein, who co-founded both Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company. Over the last 30 years, Harvey and his brother Bob have seen degrees of success that few people could imagine. Most notably, they brought home a series of prestigious awards for films such as Pulp Fiction, No Country for Old Men, and Shakespeare in Love.

But now, we’ve learned during those past 30 years, Weinstein allegedly also been sexually harassing and even raping multiple women. Some of the things he did are so disgusting and vomit-inducing, this space can’t and won’t even describe them. His own company eventually mustered up the brains to fire him, but it faces some serious financial trouble as a result of Weinstein’s actions.

One other topic worth examining is Weinstein’s impact on Democratic politics. For example, he was a top liberal donor, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, as well as Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential bid.  These Democratic donations even reflected on the Oscar contenders he backed, most of which were ideologically-driven as pointed out by Brent Bozell and Tim Graham in a column about a movie called The Imitation Game:

Whether the new focus on gay rights can capture enough votes to help The Imitation Game pass its Oscar competitors is to be determined. The appeal sounds strange since some movie reviewers, like Ed Gonzalez at Slant magazine, complained the movie didn’t crusade for gays and their sexual longings enough: “It’s surprising that it refuses to penetrate Turing’s carnality and allow Cumberbatch to truly wrestle with the torment of the man’s sexuality.”

And what of the artistic merits of the film? Who cares.

All this hard work makes the Oscar race look like just another cynical election that can be won at the last minute by a positive or negative advertising and publicity campaign. We’ll soon know if Weinstein’s campaigning legend will continue to grow.
Alas, that legend has largely been shattered due to these alleged allegations. And that leads to the second reason why the American people don’t like the entertainment industry. Outside of the Awards circles, they’ve shown to the world their disdain – even contempt – for Middle America. Weinstein was a big participant in the annual smear campaign against Middle America around awards season. Earlier this year, I slammed a miniseries he produced for the History Channel called Six, which portrays members of Seal Team Six as murderers and war criminals:
[T]he series graphically shows a U.S. Navy SEAL killing an innocent Muslim from Michigan in cold blood as well as committing numerous war crimes. There is no question that this show will probably incite hatred towards our military, but it doesn’t seem that Weinstein cared.
So, with a combination of disdain for certain people and the new sexual allegations, the chickens have not only come home to roost for Harvey Weinstein, but quite possibly for other Hollywood executives and directors as a systemic problem has boiled to the surface. It’s worth emphasizing that everyone makes mistakes – especially when it comes to stories like this, but those mistakes have eroded ticket sales, declines in television ratings, and lost television gigs (as we’ve learned from the Bill O’Reilly scenario).
As demonstrated multiple times, I’m a stockholder in The Walt Disney Company, as well as a longtime fan of its work. Its theme parks and two feature animation houses in Burbank and Emeryville do wonderful projects that both kids and adults can enjoy. But over the years, their television arm – including ABC – and their live action movie studio have become left-wing enterprises, and that has crept into their news and sports coverage, as well as scripted programming and even live-action remakes of their animated classics. ABC can’t even put out a sitcom or scripted drama without injecting liberal propaganda. That has got to stop.
Both fans and employees of the entertainment industry should think about what Harvey Weinstein was alleged to have gotten away with and the broader issue of sexual harassment. Clearly, the industry trends left with a sick set of morals (see the issue of abortion), and it is high time to look at alternatives to Hollywood movies and television.

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