The New Yorker has detailed coverage of Harvey Weinstein’s criminal behavior. And by detailed, I mean fairly explicit, names named, horrifying encounters recounted, and a history of extortion and rape spelled out repellently.
Most awful is how Weinstein used his influence to silence any revelations until there were so many they could no longer be contained. He’s been taking advantage of his power for decades, and yet his lawyer has released a statement saying, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.” If you read the story, you’ll realize that is a lie. They even have a case where one of his victims wore a wire to get open admissions of his tactics, which was taken by the police, and then…a series of stories were ‘coincidentally’ leaked to the media to portray her as a slut, and the charges evaporated.
But now I’m wondering…who else? Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, and Ben Affleck have been called out as enablers of Weinstein’s behavior — how many cowards covered for abuse by powerful men in the entertainment industry (or any industry, for that matter), and how many powerful men have similar histories? They’re out there. I guarantee you that Weinstein is not a solitary case.
I know from personal experience that calling out the Big Men with reprehensible behavior has high personal costs (I still get accusatory email every day saying I’m a terrible person for exposing Michael Shermer, for instance), but it has to be done. It has to be done now. If anyone is hiding abuse now out of fear of the repercussions to your career, we have to make clear that the repercussions will be even more severe if you wait and wait and wait until the revelations are inescapable.