In the most recent weeks in Hollywood, the entertainment mogul named Harvey Weinstein has been in the news (both local and International) for a series of sexually related crimes for more than ten years. Though there are many in the entertainment industry who perhaps are gawned by doubts at the absurdity of this story, we shouldn’t be found wanting either at acknowledging the stories that accompanied Harvey. This is the journey of this writ.
The “allegations of sexual harassment and assault by Mr. Weinstein disclosed this month in The New York Times and The New Yorker, had prompted other women to share their accounts of his alleged abuse, set off criminal investigations, roiled the entertainment world and triggered a social media movement of women from other industries and backgrounds telling their stories.”
NBC news in Megyn Keily Today, brought to the public, the story of Lauren Sivan (one of the ladies harassed by Harvey). The then 23 year old actress Katherine Kendall in 1993, said in CNN, Intelligent Conversations, that “a naked Weinstein [had] chased me.” Angelina Jolie in1998 and during those times she appeared in a movie titled “Playing by Heart,” had noted (in TMZ Live), that “Harvey Weinstein came to me…”
These advances were also reported by McGowan Blake (in People TV) in Peninsula Beverly Hills. Jessica Barth on her encounter with Harvey Weinstein (CNN Live) on Almataz Bur News Network, had also reported that she was harassed amidst the excitement. In an audio interview, the then 21 year old actress in 2011, Erika Rosenbaum also reported to CBC News that she was sexually harassed by Harvey. Lupita Nyong, according to variety.com/2017/film/news/lupita-nyongo-harvey-weinstein-sexual-harassment-1202594789/ also narrated how she was sexually harassed by Weinstein.
The following are the ladies identified to have been sexually harassed by Harvey:
1) 1984 – Tomi Ann Roberts.
2) 1990 – Sophie Dix; Louise Godbold; Kate Beckinsale.
3) 1991 – Laura Madde
4) 1994 – Gwyneth Paltron; Florence Darel.
5) 1995 – Mira Sorvino
6) 1996 – Judith Godreche
7) 1997 – Asia Argento; Claire Forlani.
8) 1998 – Zelda Perkins.
9) 2000 – Romola Garai
10) 2003 – Dawn Dunning
11) 2004 – Lucia Stoller.
12) 2007 – Lauren Sivan.
13) 2010 – Emma de Cauunes.
14) 2014 – Emily Nestor
15) 2015 – Lauren O’ Connor; Ambra Battilana; Cara Delevingne etc.
With about thirty women sexually harassed by Weinstein, one cannot but agree that he is not just a sex addict but a predator. Many of those ladies interviewed, spoke of their first encounters with Harvey. They spoke of him first as having intelligent conversations with them; an amazing conversation which had given way swiftly to a demeaning, disgusting and manipulative Harvey.
Laura Madden, a former employee, who said Mr. Weinstein prodded her for massages at hotels in Dublin and London since 1991, said he had a way of making who objected feel like an outlier. “It was so manipulative,” she said in an interview. “You constantly question yourself – am I the one who is the problem?”(cf.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/harvey-weinstein-harassment-allegations.html).
Harvey’s wife, Marchesa, a fashion designer, in an interview with Inside Edition announced: “my heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions, I have chosen to leave my husband…”
This divorce perhaps could suggest to us the later acknowledgement by Harvey: “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.”
It was indeed painfully honest when in an interview, Quentin Tarantino, the Hollywood director most closely tied to Harvey Weinstein, who had known for decades about the producer’s alleged misconduct toward women, now feels ashamed he did not take a stronger stand and stop working with him. In the interview, Mr. Tarantino issued several calls to action. In its treatment of women, Hollywood has been “operating under an almost Jim Crow-like system that us males have almost tolerated,” he said. “We allowed it to exist because that’s the way it was” (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/movies/tarantino-weinstein.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur).
“From the outside, it seemed golden — the Oscars, the success, the remarkable cultural impact,” said Mark Gill, former president of Miramax Los Angeles when the company was owned by Disney. “But behind the scenes, it was a mess, and this was the biggest mess of all,” he added, referring to Mr. Weinstein’s treatment of women.
This is why we should be even more worried at how such a hurricane happened silently among A-list actresses, actors and producers, and in a world where freedom of expression is/ought to be upheld. Why did it take years for one person to finally break the ice? Does it in fact count if someone raped or sexually harassed loads of women or just one?
Through these revelations in the Hollywood industry, it is the case that there is a Harvey Weinstein in Bollywood, in Ghollywood, in Nollywood, etc, in educational and religious institutions as well as in the music industry. There is a Harvey Weinstein somewhere, using the privileges accrued to him to assault, abuse or violate women. But we mostly are not always aware of it. Why? Because such a Harvey Weinstein is also very smart, intelligent, and is the kind of guy who forces you to realize that the system (whether educational, religious, entertainment, etc) expects you to succumb to such ridiculous advances.
Such a Harvey Weinstein would be sure to remind you that your success tomorrow is indeed dependent on not just how fucked you’ll be, but also in how quiet you must be. Such a Harvey Weinstein stands behind pulpits, in Oscars, in lecture halls, in studios, to be a constant reminder that society will always fear the myth of the untouched filthy rich man with ‘thirty pussies’ of tears and abuse.
It is high time our many Harveys are revealed. It is time to break the ice. It is time to speak up! It is time to heal this restless ache of silence.
My name is David Francis and the nature of my engagements include:
Philosophy (University of Jos, Nigeria); Research Consultant (St. Albert’s Institute, Fayit-Fadan, Kaduna, Nigeria); Editor (Sapientia African Leadership Formation Programme, e. V Address: Badenstedter Street, 99 30453, Hannover, Germany); Editor (African Home Reintegration, Spinnereistrasse 1A 30449, Hannover, Germany); Literature (S. E. M. S. Nassarawa State, Nigeria); Former Associate Editor, “Periscope Magazine,” Abuja and Columnist, “Seekers Delight Magazine,” Kaduna.
I simply try to question the ‘happy darkness’ by encouraging more hands to minimize ignorance. Just a dose of knowledge, is enough in training the mind, to conform to nothing except truth. Let’s ride this train together!
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