I may have spoken too soon last week when I defended my old friend Harvey Weinstein. It now looks very bad for him, with even Hillary Clinton joining the Greek chorus condemning him. It is not just boorish behaviour towards the fairer sex that he now stands accused of; it is also rape, something that he and his lawyers strenuously deny.
Mind you, I’ve always thought that someone was innocent until proven guilty — but that does not appear to be the case in these hyper-feminist times. And the idea that Bill and Hillary were unaware of Harvey’s shenanigans — not to mention the sleazy bunch that is Hollywood — brings to mind Captain Renault’s reaction to the gambling taking place in Rick’s Café. Everyone took the moolah and turned a blind eye and now the stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming.
George Clooney and brothers Casey and Ben Affleck are now all under the feminist microscope for what they knew about Harvey and, in the case of the Afflecks, for what they themselves may have done to the weaker sex. But all this smacks of the Soviets back in the 1930s, when any charge by anyone led to arrests and possible execution. Money is being exchanged for silence as I write, and let us not forget that Bill Clinton paid close to 850,000 big ones to an alleged victim, while collecting more than $10 million for his foundation from the Saudis, the same Saudis who are in the forefront of women’s liberation.
Two people who spoke in favour of Harvey, and asked that he be given time to defend himself, both had to eat their words rather hurriedly. Donna Karan recanted as soon as she was told by the sisterhood that if she wished to sell another blouse she’d better change her tune (she did, the next day)and my old friend Oliver Stone, who also defended Weinstein, did a mea culpa. Oliver won a bronze star in Vietnam, but gets a white feather from yours truly for caving in as he did.
Such are the joys of Hollywood and hypocrisy. Lefties in the entertainment business and in the media turned a blind eye when Teddy Kennedy not only left a girl to drown, but repeatedly, over the following years, roughed women up. They also looked the other way when it came to Bill Clinton. Now they’re all screaming bloody murder and wanting revenge on someone who obviously never, but never got the girl, any girl, until he made it in the movies, and even then he had to wrestle them into bed.
I suppose it all comes down to one’s upbringing. Men are biologically more inclined than women to desire the opposite sex, hence the old rules were protective of the weaker ones. A woman was not considered a target but an object of respect. That is how the poor little Greek boy was brought up to think. And society, or rather the social order, worked better back then — except in Hollywood, that is. Jack L. Warner was the prototype of a swaggering bully and sexual predator, using his casting couch every afternoon and making Weinstein seem like a monk in comparison. Women reporters are now describing how they wept as they read about Weinstein’s harassment, but where were they when far worse things were taking place? Protecting the Kennedys and the Clintons, that’s where.
As always, my favourite is Tina Brown. This week she explained how Harvey co-opted the media by offering juicy negative nuggets about movie stars in his films. Tina should know. She co-opted Harvey out of 50 million big ones for her ludicrous Talk Magazine. Now she’s giving us lectures about the dangers of being co-opted.
Oh well, the powerful have been abusing the weak since time immemorial, so I guess it’s payback time for Harvey. What troubles me is that the ones yelling the loudest are those prone to indulge in abuse of those who cannot fight back, like the New York Times and Hollywood.
The irony in all this is that the great seducers, starting with Casanova himself, were just that: seducers, not rapists. Nor were they pathetically inclined to beg a woman into bed.
Charm is all one needs — charm and a romantic nature and the gels will go along with it. Love letters help, as does having a reputation for discretion. A woman will gladly give herself to a man who will keep it to himself and not amuse the locker room with what took place in the bedroom. Discretion, charm, a sense of romance, even good looks help. Poor old Harvey possessed none of these and for that reason alone he should be given some benefit of the doubt. But he will be whistling Dixie before that happens.