NEW YORK – Convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein is heading for jail, like we said he always would.
Harvey Weinstein wasn’t God. He was far more important. At the Oscars he was thanked more than God. He beat God into a cocked hat. Judi Dench got a tattoo of his name to show her appreciation. And many directors and actors heaped praise on the man. But it is now apparent that everyone always knew about Harvey, they always hated him. They were just waiting. I guess. Some are still waiting now.
The fact of the matter is though, Harvey hid in plain sight. Peter Biskind’s Down and Dirty Pictures painted a Miramax which was dysfunctional, with Harvey and his brother regularly berating and bullying people. His book – published in 2004 – catalogues temper tantrums, intimidation, shouting matches and a slew of misbehaviour but for the most part it’s done in a way that we’re supposed to enjoy. Hell, I read it and enjoyed it. The worst sins appear to be the way Weinstein would wrestle the creative control from directors and recut their films. Harvey Scissorhands, they’d call him. But the fact is his sexual predation, assault and rape, were an open secret and it now looks weird that Biskind didn’t reveal it. He missed the picture.
Or he couldn’t see the picture for the stories. After all, the Hollywood Babylon idea of misbehaviour is a way of both describing and erasing the bad, forgive and forget, play the game. You know how it’s done. The blow job and blonde, the casting couch, you scratch my back. It’s a joke that’s so old and familiar you can tell it to children. We read about producers like Don Simpson, Julia Phillips (just in case you thought this kind of horror was exclusively male) and many others (pretty much all the others are male, I have to note). And we admired them. Being monstrous came with the job. We paved the way for Weinstein.
The good news is that this has to change and it will change. It won’t be perfect. Nothing ever is. But not being perfect shouldn’t stop us from trying at least to not be so shitty. With Harvey heading to jail, Jeffrey Epstein dead, being rich and powerful doesn’t seem to make you invulnerable any longer. Impunity crumbles. Maybe the time will come for other predators too. Princes, perhaps even Presidents will be held account for their behaviour. Because now it’s not only that we know. We know we know.