No one was ever able to write or say anything about it publicly.
In his otherwise excellent 2004 book about independent film in the 80s and 90s, Down and Dirty Pictures, a book which Harvey Weinstein dominates, Peter Biskind’s index entries for him read:
acquisition rampage of,
conflicts with filmmakers of,
financial crisis and,
Good Will Hunting and,
legacy and prospects,
loss of Shine and,
political involvement of,
Pulp Fiction and,
as viewed by the industry,
In other words, a thorough chronicle of his achievements, and a seemingly robust survey of a career of relentless bullying, but in view of this week’s revelations, a chapter light and a few quotes short.
The writer Ken Auletta also wrote a profile of Harvey Weinstein for the New Yorker in 2002, a piece so long it is probably still going on today.
You can see a précis of it here – no mention of invitations to women to view him showering or provide massage services.
This piece in the Guardian in 2012 hints at low notes of awfulness, but only for those having to do business with him:
Murkier subplots certainly bubble; offstage whispers suggest ominous undercurrents (Weinstein is a man people are strikingly reluctant to discuss, even off the record). “He’s still perceived as an absolute nightmare,” says one industry insider. “He buys movies, changes them, buries them, fucks over young filmmakers, gets furious when he doesn’t get the mention in the acceptance speech.
Now that he’s got the camera crews waiting outside the house to shout things at him, a number of theories are bouncing around as to why things have been different this time, including:
- A media outlet sufficiently confident of its sources and legal corsetry (The New York Times) to go public
- A reduction in the Weinsteins’ power within the industry
- A collapse in the media’s ability to protect him, having been coerced and encouraged to do so over the years through advertising revenue and deals with journalists to develop books and scripts.
- His own brother turning him in
- Other high profile names getting theirs (Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly)
Another of the common themes, though, is that this kind of behaviour is not uncommon in the industry, with actors willing to submit to countless distasteful requests in an attempt to get on, and the rich and powerful quite happy to take full advantage of this need.
This being the case then, why is all the media attention about just one man?
If he’s not the only man to have decided the best use for all that wealth and influence is to engineer the groping of women, where are the rest of them?
(“Not the only one”, Exhibit A) “When you are a star they let you do it,” said a pre-Presidential Donald Trump in 2005. “You can do anything.” This was the same conversation in which he also shared how he was able to “grab them by the pussy.”
Where, then, are the women who had to put up with being “grabbed”?
Why aren’t they getting an opportunity to shame their tormentor?
And the other women who had to endure whatever grim attentions film industry “honchos” believed were part of their “deal”? Where are they?
If the media points its klieg lights in the face of Harvey Weinstein alone, then it’ll just end up being like the financial crisis with Harvey Weinstein in the role of Lehman Brothers.
After a shortish period of devastated head-shaking and shell-shocked muttering, everything will return to the smirking, boastful way it was before.
One indication that the return to business as usual is already underway can be found in this Mail Online headline:
Instead of sending hopes and prayers to Cressida Bonas though, wouldn’t it be better if all those who “knew all along” told the rest of us what else they know?