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Director Kevin Smith has announced that he’s donating all future residuals from his Weinstein-distributed films to Women in Film. He’s also donating $2,000 a month to the organization for his entire lifetime. This is a significant monetary commitment from Smith, as Miramax and the Weinstein company produced most of his early work including Clerks, Chasing Amy, Clerks II, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Smith made the announcement on his podcast, Hollywood Babble-On, where he discussed his dismay and disgust at Harvey Weinstein, a man whom he worked with extensively and thought he knew before the revelations that Weinstein is a serial abuser. Smith’s comments really show that he’s trying to understand and empathize with the women whom Harvey harassed, assaulted and whose careers he ruined. I was really moved by the depth and empathy that Smith showed in recognizing his position as a male in the industry and realizing the ways women are barred from the same level of achievement.
“My entire career is tied up with the man,” Smith said in the latest episode of his podcast, Hollywood Babble-On. “”It’s been a weird f—ing week. I just wanted to make some f—ing movies, that’s it. That’s why I came, that’s why I made Clerks. And no f—ing movie is worth all this. Like, my entire career, fuck it, take it. It’s wrapped up in something really f–ing horrible.”
When an audience member screamed out that it wasn’t his fault, Smith got emotional, responding, “I’m not looking for sympathy. I know it’s not my fault, but I didn’t f—ing help. Because I sat out there talking about this man like he was a hero, like he was my friend, like he was my father and shit like that, and he changed my f—ing life. And I showed other people, like, ‘You can dream, and you can make stuff, and this man will put it out.’ I was singing praises of somebody that I didn’t f—ing know. I didn’t know the man that they keep talking about in the press. Clearly he exists, but that man never showed himself to me. It all hurts, and it didn’t happen to me, but it all hurts.”
“I had a dream and I made it, and I presented it to somebody, and they didn’t make me do something f—ing horrible,” continued Smith. “So I feel like there are so many people that we know of now, and maybe even more, that were made to do horrible things to make their dreams come true and maybe didn’t even get to touch the dreams; this f—ing dude chased them away.”
This led to the filmmaker vowing to give any future income garnered from his Weinstein-made titles to Women in Film. And with the possibility that The Weinstein Co. could go under and fail to yield any additional residuals, Smith says he will give $2,000 per month to the organization for the rest of his life. “That feels like a start,” he concluded, while also offering his mentorship if they’d want him. “Hopefully that goes to people that get to make sh— without having to deal with some f—ing animal saying, ‘Here’s the price.’”
Perhaps Smith knew on some superficial level, perhaps his understanding of Weinstein prior to this was similar to Clooney or maybe even Tarantino (although we have heard very little from Tarantino) in that he thought that Weinstein was a player who took advantage of his position to land young women who were ok with the situation. It really sounds like Smith gets it now and is doing what he can to listen and to help women in his industry. This makes me wonder why more men in Hollywood who benefitted from Weinstein aren’t stepping up with donations along with their explanations and condemnations. Think of all the good they can do and I hope this action by Smith sets a precedent.
Incidentally The Hollywood Reporter had a producer’s roundtable discussion last week discussing the Weinstein scandal. It featured Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Amy Pascal, Jason Blum, Ridley Scott and Eric Fellner. Apatow and Rogen in particular had decent comments about the male-centric culture of their industry and how everyone looked the other way and made excuses as Weinstein made payoffs. Many people online were quick to point out that there was only a single woman on the panel. Pascal said that Weinstein wasn’t an outlier in Hollywood and that people believed they would get hurt if they spoke out against him. She’s right, Weinstein systematically killed the careers of women who turned him down. Imagine what he would and did do to anyone who spoke out against him.
Photos Credit: Getty and WENN
Oh my, this is huge.
I don’t know much about him; his movies aren’t really my taste, but BRAVO! Here’s someone *literally* putting his money where his mouth is! I like that he’s not just mouthing platitudes, but that it’s like he’s seeing status quo in a whole other light, and that light “woke” him.
Very good start… now, where are the others? Damon? Both Afflecks? Tarrantino? DiCaprio? *crickets*
I applaud this. A response involving a male giving up $ rather than just empathising.
I applaud this. These monetary contributions to Women in Film are a form of reparations to all women whose careers were destroyed by Weinstein. This is allyship in practice. Take note, Matt Damon.
“I know it’s not my fault, but I didn’t f—ing help. Because I sat out there talking about this man like he was a hero, like he was my friend, like he was my father and shit like that, and he changed my f—ing life. And I showed other people, like, ‘You can dream, and you can make stuff, and this man will put it out.”
Yes, if you are another man.
Love you, Kevin, and this is such a concrete step forward, but lets really home in on this point.
Wankstain and men like him, support other men that look and talk like they do. So dudes, stop looking at how they treat their equals, how they treat you, and start looking at how they treat women, people of colour, those less financially solvent.
This completely. I’m satisfied with Kevin’s statement but I just can’t muster up the applause for any man involved in this mess.
That being said, I have always liked Kevin so it’s reassuring to see that he at least appears to get it. He seemed genuinely remorseful, unlike a lot of the other men who were associated with Weinstein either directly or tangentially.
I do really like what he said. I feel like hes someone who will stick up for the little guy (or girl), but we really need to focus on that. Donations are great (donate to your local women’s shelter!), but it’s the daily struggles we need help with, the cultural shift. One time actions, or set monthly donations, are so much better than nothing, but we need the smaller constant things too.
I guess I worry that it becomes about making a statement, a grand gesture, and then poof, it will all be gone. I’m interested to see his next move. He has a huge audience, and a great platform, I’m hopeful he will use it for good.
But to be fair, this is a very typical American attitude: we are fantastic with the acute response but we really fall short in terms of consistent support/labor for the long-term.
But the issue of toxic masculinity is pandemic–it is widespread and deeply ingrained in various cultures across the world. We need men to step up and start addressing this problem in a real, concrete, LASTING way–it requires a commitment, not lip service and a temporary Band Aid.
“Hopefully that goes to people that get to make sh— without having to deal with some f—ing animal saying, ‘Here’s the price.”
And this seems to me that he gets it, too.
I think he does, too. This read to me as very personal, and he sounds like hes still unpacking some stuff. This is going to be really hard for a lot of people, resolving that cognitive dissonance, but I trust Kevin Smith to be on the right side.
I hope my comment doesn’t come across as dismissive of what hes doing and saying, he’s putting his money where his mouth is and that is incredible.
Yes part of the reason why his comments resonated with me was because it was so unfiltered/off-the-cuff. It wasn’t some polished PR release: “I am shocked to hear about Weinstein…man I admired..not the man I knew…brave women..blah blah blah…”
Yes. I know he doesn’t quite actually say it, but it seems clear that he is accepting that it never occurred to him to be vigilant, that even if it had he hadn’t cared enough to be vigilant, and that this gives him a degree of complicity requiring reparations, which he is duly making.
I can appreciate that.
While I have never been a fan of Kevin Smith, I like that he seems to be self aware enough to actually put some money where his mouth is (so to speak). It’s a nice start. I like that he basically acknowledged that as long as things were good w/ he & Weinstein, he was oblivious to anyone else’s experiences. It’s the old “well I’ve got mine so who cares about anyone else” scenario.
Also, the other male heavy hitters in Hollywood don’t have to step up because no one demands it. They can issue their blanket statements of “disgust”, “gosh I never knew”, “father of daughters” BS, but the majority won’t really do anything. They don’t like that their comfort zone of misogyny is being rocked.
It’s just my interpretation but I took those comments as almost him saying/realizing he may have put possible victims in HW’s path by saying “Go to Harvey – he will help you.” without knowing the cost HW might require for that help.
Clare Forlani was in his movie MallRats…and she is one of the people who recently spoke out about HW.
Not sure if TWC was involved with that particular film, but even if he wasn’t– if I were Smith I would find that upsetting.
That’s a good idea. The next step is figuring out how to do better and turning outrage into action. Kudos, Kevin.
Ugh – yes! I’m really glad to see men starting to really get it and lend help. Another clip I saw last night was from Jim Jefferies show and his comments on Weinstein, and himself as a man in Hollywood. Highly recommend checking it out.
I have always really liked him as a person , not a huge fan of his movies but I’ve always really liked him .
Same. I’ve watched a few of his movies – I don’t hate them, but they’re not my favorites either. A while back I had read about how he was basically taking care of Jason Mewes, doing whatever he could to help him recover from addiction… he seems to be a genuinely good guy, and I think he really does want to make a difference. He’s doing more than most, and I don’t think a single bit of it is for show. I think he genuinely cares about people.
Love Rogan as well. I’ve always liked him, but the more I read about him the more I genuinely appreciate him as a person.
@ Erinn, Yes Seth Rogan is really surprising me. He seems to get it more than a lot of his male counterparts.
Same. Don’t like his movies, but I think he’s a decent guy at heart.
Seth Rogan has always really annoyed me, but I think he’s probably a good guy too.
I feel like I was wrong about Seth Rogan.
I feel like I was wrong about Seth Rogan and also about Kevin Smith. Maybe they both have grown up in the last decade or so?
Off topic thought – Smith always blamed Garner for interfering in his friendship with Affleck but now I think it was really Affleck all along who killed that friendship. Affleck clearly has had no issues doing whatever the f** he wants, regardless of what his wife would think. So, BA = liar and a bad friend.
And I wonder if it was Affleck being pissed about Jersey Girl and wanting to blame someone. Didn’t realize that was a Kevin Smith movie.
I’ll never be cool with Seth Rogan due to him raping an unconscious Anna Farris in Observe & Report. The fact that he was ok filming that awfulness & thought it was comedy cancels him no matter how woke he’s pretending to be now.
Nah, I think Garner thought Smith was a bad influence bringing Affleck down, and Affleck was fine with going along with that because it was an easy gesture to make.
He’s like any addict, he’ll give up anything if it gets him him out of giving up the real problems.
This is incredibly important.
Money, meet mouth.
More of this and fewer platitudes please.
Cc: Clooney, Damon etc
This, all day long. People with means can donate monthly to support victims.
I especially like the part about having a dream and presenting it, and not having to do something f*cking horrible to get it…
I believe that he didn’t know. Why? Because pieces of sh!t like HW are very careful not to reveal themselves to men whom they are intimidated by…men who have a moral compass.
I applaud what Kevin Smith is doing here.
It’s the quiet ones that have the biggest backbones. Today is a good news day.
This is awesome. Good job.
Really touched by this. Well done Kevin. Now let’s see if any of your colleagues (many who are richer than you) have the guts and heart to follow suit or do something similar.
Yeah I’m looking at you Matt and Ben. Oh and Leo? Do you really need Gangs of NY residuals? Hmmmmm.
Yup. I would throw Tarantino and Michael Moore in there as well. Anyone who claims Weinstein made their career.
Good job, Kevin.
Two thumbs up.
This is so above and beyond. This isn’t something he has to do. I really think that Kevin Smith is a decent person, and someone who had grown a lot over the years. But really, it should be Weinstein paying back every cent he’s made.
Agree on all your points.
He seems genuine in his statements.
I like that he’s doing this. It takes a horrible situation, and tries to make something better out of it, supporting a group that helps women get equal opportunities in many aspects of the industry.
Right on, Kevin. And I feel he is actually reeling from this and caring and has been since his first remarks, not the boilerplate statement many give that sounds good and then moving on.
I’ve been following Kevin since he first came on the scene with “Clerks” and he’s always come across as very intelligent and insightful. I love that he didn’t trot out the “As the father of a daughter…” statement. He acknowledged his privilege and also his blind allegiance to someone he thought he knew, who nurtured and supported his career. The monthly donation, on top of no longer profiting off his Weinstein-produced movies, is an incredible commitment that oddly doesn’t surprise me. He’s always known how lucky he is and, wealth aside, never allowed his success to go to his head or change him.
I’m dying to know what he thinks of Ben Affleck right now.
I was always a bit suspicious of Smith, for no reason. This changes my view of him.
But, as I wrote above, Affleck is a sh*tty friend and led Smith to believe Garner wanted their friendship over, and that BA had no choice.
When in reality, BA touched women sans consent, gambled, drank and had affairs – why would he let his wife prevent him from seeing his supposedly really good friend?
Idk why, it gets my goat when Men use their girlfriends/wives as scapegoats for their being sh*tty. Of course BA did it to JLo so…
My guess is Kevin Smith will realize BA is a jerk who never deserved roles in his movies or his friendship.
In all honesty, one of the reasons Jennifer Gardner never liked Kevin Smith is because of a statement he made in an interview during the first year Jen and Ben were dating. It was something like “Yeah, he called me up and said ‘I just got a BJ (he said both words) from Electra.'” Evidently, Ben acted on way around Jen and another way around his male friends. Kevin just acted like ‘Kevin’ around her and she thought he was crude.
I love Kevin’s response. Aside from being proactive it just seems so real. I believe he didn’t really know either. Maybe he was so excited making movies to notice anything else, and it sounds like now he is questioning every interaction he had with Harvey. I do think it’s possible to not be a gossip person, and not know. The Harvey’s of the world don’t show it to everyone. Hopefully, Kevin’s donation will start a trend too.
I understand what you are saying. I used to hang out with a lot of men in uni and the level of inappropriateness was hard to gauge, in that they would make jokes about porn, sex, women, but as forwho would actually be disrespectful toward women, I did not think any of them would be.
And it turned out, it was actually the seemingly nicest guy in the group who turned out to be a snake.
i think with the revelations of smith and tarantino there is a lot to be discussed about male friendship such that people can be so out of tune with what their friends are actually doing, because none of my female friends have surprised me like this.
It sounds like he’s done a lot of remembering this week and good for him having this as his reaction.
I give Kevin credit for putting his money where his mouth is. He is not the most powerful or riches celebrity, but he seems to be trying to do what he can to make a change.
Unlike the other male celebrities who just either put out BS/PR statement, or a semi passable ones that some believe (ie Clooney) he seems to be try to do something about it.
I’m sure most will jump on the bandwagon later all though some will do it just for show.
I strongly applause what he has done. But sometimes I wonder when people said they knew nothing about this. I am a 58 yo in Pawtucket RI and I heard rumours about him!
Respect to Kevin Smith.
In 2016 Kevin’s daughter, Harley Quinn had a very disturbing experience with an online troll bullying her about an Instagram picture she posted. Kevin understands these problems. He’s already had to deal with incident with his own daughter when she was 17.
Papa bear was not having this; he responded –
…[If] you hate me (or my kid) this much, the better use of your time is to make YOUR dreams come true, instead of slamming others for doing the same. The best revenge is living insanely well – so if you wanna get back at a 17 year old girl for the grievous crime of enjoying her life, the best way to do it is to succeed in your OWN existence.”
“You think you have something to offer the world but others are getting all the attention? Don’t bitch or punish the world: just create,” wrote Smith. “Create something nobody’s ever seen before and there is a good chance the world will notice you. Attacking teen girls on the Internet is the saddest form of masturbation that exists and requires no discernible skill or talent. You want attention? Don’t make yourself mad, make something original and fun. Because if you’re not being useful in this world you’re being useless. Don’t be useless: go make stuff that makes people happy!”
I take him at his word in terms of promised current and long term donations. He has been a steadfast and loyal friend to Jason Mewes who had an over decade long severe addiction problem. He was there for Jason when most of us (myself included) would have bailed.
I’m certain like most of us, there are negative aspects of his life and his character. But he is the first person I’ve heard about in this horrible ongoing situation who is attempting to address it. I give him a lot of credit for his compassion, as well as putting money where his mouth is.
Will anyone else have the courage and decency to follow suit? Plenty of Smith’s peers have far deeper pockets than he has.
Kevin Smith is doing the good deed.
Silent Bob is saying the right thing.
The way he talks about the price some of us have to pay for their dreams, or how he rebukes his daughter’s trolls, he hits home.
I love Kevin’s early work. He’s a good man, bravo!