February 27, 2020
You might not have heard — because Trump is still president, so MSNBC and CNN were required to give hair-on-fire coverage of some mundane action he’s taken this week — but on Monday, Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and a criminal sexual act.
I have some random thoughts on the case and the whole #MeToo movement. Apologies in advance that this has nothing to do with Donald Trump, Dictator.
1) Every time I hear about Weinstein’s predations, I wonder how many waitresses, real estate agents and housewives in Los Angeles might be celebrated actresses today, except that when Weinstein barged out of the bathroom stark naked and lunged at them, they fled the room and didn’t look back.
Our media are so infantile. Can’t we agree that Weinstein is a psychopathic scumbag without calling the witnesses against him “heroes”?
The true heroes are the girls whose names we don’t know — not the ones who were grossed out by the pig, but had sex with him anyway, then sent him emoji-filled, suck-up emails because they wanted to be “stars.”
True, we know there are some, like Gwyneth Paltrow, who turned him down flat, so kudos to her and to Brad Pitt, who accosted Weinstein afterward and told him, “If you ever make her feel uncomfortable again, I’ll kill you.”
Not to take away from that magnificent episode, but Paltrow is Hollywood royalty (the daughter of director-producer Bruce Paltrow and actress Blythe Danner), and her boyfriend at the time was an A-list actor. Still: heroes.
But how many actresses — whom we’re supposed to envy and read about their skin care regimes and Hollywood Hills homes and how they were ugly ducklings as children (they all say that) — are really no different from the average L.A. waitress, except they were willing to have sex with Harvey Weinstein or some similarly hideous beast?
Definitely keep getting your political opinions from them, America.
2) After the verdict, I looked at the list of movies Weinstein produced. There are nearly 200, maybe more. I have zero interest in seeing any of them, and the ones I’ve so much as started were terrible — except the three or four by Quentin Tarantino and one called “Benefit of the Doubt,” which sounds good.
Weinstein’s talent wasn’t in producing movies; it was in staging aggressive campaigns with the Oscars judges.
But let’s be generous and say 10 of Weinstein’s movies were great.
That’s worse than the music industry’s practice — pre-iTunes — of selling $20 albums or CDs that had one, maybe two good songs. One good to 12 bad, versus 10 good to 200 bad.
My main takeaway from the Weinstein trial is that I’m so glad there’s Amazon Prime and Netflix now, so pushy freaks can’t get rich producing schlock that the public hates.
3) There was fleeting coverage of the Weinstein case on Monday immediately after the verdict came in, with a bank of microphones set up outside the courthouse in anticipation of the defense lawyers making a statement.
They’re the interesting ones here. Will they appeal? What do they expect from the upcoming trial against Weinstein in Los Angeles? Also, considering who the defendant was, they did pretty well.
News cameras were focused on the empty microphones, as TV anchors chit-chatted with guests, one eye on the courthouse door. On MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell interrupted her guest when she thought she caught a glimpse of defense attorney Donna Rotunno. False alarm! — back to the guest.
Finally, Rotunno emerged, headed toward the microphones — and guess who leapt in front of her and got there first? GUESS!
No, not Michael Avenatti.
Gloria Allred, who proceeded to recite a lot of boilerplate about the accusers being “heroes” and speaking “their truth.” (She did not say: “We know Weinstein was horrible because he hired my daughter to attack his accusers.”)
Hilariously, Rotunno just kept walking, while TV viewers everywhere wishes a lightning bolt would strike Allred.
4) In light of the plague of white men, it’s notable that the majority demographic on the Weinstein jury was this hated group. The jury was composed of two white women, two black women, one black/Hispanic woman; one black man; and seven white men.
Despite Weinstein’s repulsiveness, the case was far from a slam-dunk. Luckily, white men have not yet adopted the modern propensity to view the world as an Identity Group cage match. I would wager that it never occurred to a single white man on the jury to think: We can’t send a white man to prison!
5) Also relevant to the white male pestilence infecting America: If we’d cut off immigration around 1880, certainly by 1850, there would be hardly any #MeToo cases at all. (I can’t think of a single #MeToo perpetrator of founding American stock — i.e., the group that gets blamed for everything.) We need way better assimilation programs.
6) There was one notable exception to the media’s refusal to budge off their 24-7 Trump Is an Authoritarian Monster coverage on the day of the Weinstein verdict: the Kobe Bryant memorial! All news was interrupted for hours and hours of live coverage of the Kobe event. No mention of Kobe’s rape case.