Gilliam is one of the members of the Monty Python troupe, not as well known as the other five because he was rarely seen in the TV series and films. His main role was providing the animations that provided the transitions between sketches and scenes. After the Python era ended, he went on to become a successful director. In a recent interview, he gave his opinion on the recent exposes of predatory sexual behavior in the entertainment industry and said some appalling things, among other things comparing the #MeToo movement to mob rule.
Hollywood director Terry Gilliam said Friday that the #MeToo movement has morphed into “mob rule”, claiming that while some women suffered, others used Harvey Weinstein to further their careers.
“It is a world of victims. I think some people did very well out of meeting with Harvey and others didn’t. The ones who did knew what they were doing. These are adults, we are talking about adults with a lot of ambition.
“Harvey opened the door for a few people, a night with Harvey — that’s the price you pay,” said the maker of “Brazil” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
But Gilliam said the truth was that abuse of power has “always happened. I don’t think Hollywood will change, power always takes advantage, it always does and always has.
“It’s how you deal with power — people have got to take responsibility for their own selves.”
While he lamented that the 1960s generation did not get full equality for women and went on to describe Weinstein as a “monster” and said that there were others like him, his general response was a shrug, that this situation had always existed and he seemed to suggest that as long as both parties were adults and aware of the transactional nature of the relationship, i.e. exchanging sex for career advancement, then that is acceptable.
This is, of course, completely nuts. I am all in favor of consenting adults being allowed to behave in ways they choose. But the compact phrase ‘consenting adults’ contains a whole lot of implicit assumptions about other conditions that should exist. One is that there be no power differential significant enough to influence consent. Another is that the parties are in full command of their faculties and are not drunk or stoned or otherwise in a state of cognitive impairment that prevents them making a rational decision.
The abuses committed by Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly and the huge number of other people are wrong precisely because those conditions were not met.