For the life of me I can’t believe anyone is surprised at the allegations against Hollywood Mogul Harvey Weinstein.
This post is in NO WAY intended to condone, excuse, or minimize the behavior he is alleged to have committed.
But really folks, the casting couch is nothing new.
Rumors about the casting couch came from Hollywood as far back as 1910 when many producers, directors, and executives promised stardom to women and men for sexual favors.
Joan Collins described her own casting couch experiences in Past Imperfect: An Autobiography in 1978.
Shirley Temple claimed that a producer exposed himself to her…when she was 12!!
Woody Harrelson said in an interview that “…every acting business I ever entered into in New York seemed to have a casting couch…I’ve seen so many people sleep with people they loathe in order to further their ambition.”
Before you go off on me for comparing Weinstein’s alleged rape culture behavior to the Hollywood Casting Couch, bear in mind that unwanted sexual advances, forced sexual acts, and coerced acts for movie roles are all one and the same.
Rape is rape even if a movie career is the prize.
Not to mention that the very idea of someone using their artistic, political, industrial, or managerial power to procure sex and force someone to engage in unwanted acts should be abhorrent to everyone.
As the story develops, it is glaringly apparent Harvey’s story was the best kept secret in Hollywood.
And the most tolerated.
I don’t get it.
Sure, sure, I might be able to wrap my head around and actor or actress submitting to sexual overtures to further their career. After all, it’s the Hollywood way, we’ve heard about it for ever. And it’s “just sex,” right?
Well, no, actually, I can’t.
And I can’t wrap my head around the daily additions of respected actors who obviously knew what Harvey was UP to.
Gwyneth, Angelina, Brad, Ben.
And what about Seth MacFarlane’s joke from the Oscar nominee announcements back in 2013?
After announcing the best actress nominees, MacFarlane concluded with, “…congratulations you ladies will no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.”
He claimed recently it was because he was angry for a friend who had had to endure Harvey’s advances.
Weinstein thought his power and his politics would protect him.
But even as all this comes to light, there are historical records alleging sexual abuse, unwanted sexual advances, and out and out rape by Harvey and others from the likes of Goldie Hawn, Megan Fox, Charlize Theron, Mickey Rourke, Ryan Philippe, Lisa Rinna and her husband Harry Hamlin, Susan Sarandon, Teresa Russell; the list goes on, and the acts, comments, and requests are far to lurid for my family friendly blog.
Even Cher wasn’t safe.
Neither were minors. Corey Feldman and Corey Haim were “…given drugs and passed around in the 1980s…”
So why are we shocked?
Movies and Television and advertising for that matter are all based on selling sex; and based on the objectification of women.
Women have been the focus of automobile ads since automobile ads began. Fragrance, beer, liquor, and just about any other product have sexy and often scantily clad nymphets hawking their wares.
Good strong roles for women often come wrapped in a bikini while James Bond is clad in a Tuxedo.
And what’s to be done?
I am afraid not much if women and men seeking fame and career continue to keep silent. Bravo to the ones who’ve come forward, who’ve had enough.
Sadly, I’m pretty confident that as long as there’s a Hollywood, there will be a Harvey.