George Clooney’s first statement about Harvey Weinstein was an interview with the Daily Beast. Clooney got real about what he knew and which rumors he had heard and what he really thought of Weinstein. This William H. Macy interview – also with the Daily Beast – sort of reminds me of that Clooney piece. Not because Macy is claiming total ignorance of Weinstein’s behavior, like Clooney, but because of the way Macy frames the Weinstein conundrum, and why so many people – MEN – looked the other way about Weinstein. Clooney made special mention of how Weinstein was often the only producer interested in difficult films, in offbeat films, in nurturing avant-garde talent. Macy notes the same thing – that there were two Harveys. You can read the full Daily Beast piece here. Some highlights:
He executive produced Transamerica & Steve Bannon’s company got a cut of the sales: “You know, I heard that. I heard a whole story on NPR about his early film days. It’s pretty crazy. He was making money off a transgender movie and now he’s this. There are very few people in this world who have an ethic that they carry with them. People…change.
Whether people knew the extent of Harvey Weinstein’s behavior: “Of course people knew. A lot of people knew. A lot of people knew. It’s the shame of our industry that it took so long for this to blow up. You know, I’m going to miss Harvey in a way. There are two Harveys: there’s the Harvey who’s abusive to women, and the Harvey who would make films that no other producer would touch, and would champion those films. The same aggressiveness that he brought to chasing women is the same aggressiveness that he brought to pushing these films. When you think of it in the macro, these guys who are so driven, so smart, and they become so powerful, and they’ve got egos that are outsized—you have to have that to be Harvey Weinstein. You have to be the toughest dog on the block. So, we need no ghost from the grave to think that they’re going to be rough on women, and to take advantage of that. It’s a power thing, and it’s just so wrong.”
All the young actresses: “What makes me saddest is that a lot of these women, when they were propositioned by producers—where it’s put this way: if you want the job, you’ll have an affair with me—they didn’t get mad, they were crushed. It destroyed their belief in themselves that this a–hole had done this…. somebody says, “No, no, no. All you are is pretty.” That’s just devastating. That’s the saddest part of it: that it was so insidious that people couldn’t speak out angrily about it until years later.”
What he would say to his daughters if they wanted to be actresses: “Well, the business is evolving and as painful as this is, all these charges of sexual predation that are being thrown around, it had to happen. So my daughters, yeah, we can put a pin in that. I pity the poor fool that hits on my daughter, Georgia. She’ll knock his teeth out. It’s a different generation, you know? Things are evolving. My daughters are healthier than I ever was. I’m so glad I have daughters.
“Of course people knew. A lot of people knew.” Granted, I’ve started to believe that a lot of producers, directors, agents, publicists and assistants knew exactly what was happening. But Macy’s wife Felicity Huffman said that she didn’t know the extent of Weinstein’s behavior and I believed her. Should we believe that William H. Macy knew all along too? He worked on Weinstein films a lot in the ‘90s. Hm. And what do you think of Macy’s take on Weinstein in general? It’s bugging me, but I don’t have the energy to yell about it.
Photos courtesy of Getty.