I continue to be annoyed by how quickly so many people have turned the story of one man’s perversions, assaults, abuses and vulgarities into a campaign to slam the women around him. Everybody from Hillary Clinton to Meryl Streep are being ripped to shreds because of their proximity to Harvey Weinstein, like their proximity makes them EQUAL to him. No. I still don’t feel that way. We all have ways of coping, we all have ways of hearing what we want to hear or refusing to believe that the person who is so nice to me personally might be an absolute monster to other people. Those coping mechanisms are not the same as Harvey Weinstein’s crimes.
So, Judi Dench has released a statement, because I’m sure someone thinks friggin’ Judi Dench is somehow complicit. Weinstein has nurtured Dench’s film career for decades, and she won an Oscar (and been nominated for several more) on films which Harvey produced. Dench had always spoken glowingly of Weinstein and what he had done for her career, and she even joked that she had Weinstein’s name tattooed on her bum years ago. This is what she says now:
“Whilst there is no doubt that Harvey Weinstein has helped and championed my film career for the past 20 years, I was completely unaware of these offenses which are, of course, horrifying, and I offer my sympathy to those who have suffered, and wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”
A perfectly fine statement. I believe her. I believe she was unaware. Realistically, what are the chances that a charming, sociopathic predator would have behaved differently around women like Meryl Streep and Judi Dench than he would behave around Random European Actress-Models? Meanwhile, Glenn Close also released a statement. I completely forgot that any of Glenn’s films were even produced by Weinstein. Here’s her statement:
“I’m sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women. Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.”
“I’m angry, not just at him and the conspiracy of silence around his actions, but also that the ‘casting couch’ phenomenon, so to speak,” Close continued—“the horrible pressure, the awful expectation put on a woman when a powerful, egotistical, entitled bully expects sexual favors in exchange for a job.”
“Ours is an industry in which very few actors are indispensable and women are cast in far fewer roles than men, so the stakes are higher for women and make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of a predator. I applaud the monumental courage of the women who have spoken up,” Close added, referring to Ashley Judd and the other women cited in the shocking report The New York Times published last week. “I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow.”
Close then went even further: “The changes must be both institutional and personal. Men and women, in positions of power, must create a work environment in which people, whose jobs depend on them, feel safe to report threatening and inappropriate behavior, like that reported in the Times. No one should be coerced into trading personal dignity for professional success. I feel the time is long and tragically overdue for all of us in the industry, men and women, to unite—calmly and dispassionately—and create a new culture of respect, equality, and empowerment, where bullies and their enablers are no longer allowed to prosper.”
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was getting women to feel guilty about sh-t that was not their fault. I applaud Glenn for acknowledging that she was aware of the rumors – there’s no “WHO ME, I HAD NO IDEA” – but you can see the rationalization that she made over the years: “Harvey has always been decent to me.” That’s how all of these women felt. Because Harvey was “decent” to Glenn, to Meryl, to Judi, to Hillary too probably. We can scream “you should have known” until we’re blue in the face, but seriously – the NYT ONLY WORKED UP THE NERVE TO PUBLISH THE ARTICLE THIS MONTH.
Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.