Ross Clark

The Weinstein affair has exposed Hollywood’s culture. Let’s boycott it

The Weinstein affair has exposed Hollywood's culture. Let's boycott it
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Oh, the glorious hypocrisy of it all – the dozens of actresses, UN goodwill ambassadors among them, who have come forward to make accusations against Harvey Weinstein – and yet whom said not a word between them when they were on the make and he was in a position to help them with their careers. I should say that if you are important and mature enough to serve as a UN ambassador you ought to be brave enough to report wrongdoing that is going on beneath your nose – and not wait until there is a bandwagon on which to leap. Worse, it turns out that in 2009 some of the actresses speaking out against Weinstein even signed a petition – along with Weinstein – demanding the release of Roman Polanski, who had been arrested by Swiss police and faced possible extradition to the US where he is still wanted on historic charges for the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

But then that is Hollywood all over – a crazed little world of celebs who lecture the rest of us on climate change yet have personal carbon footprints on the scale of a pair of size 20 Doc Martens. Who preach on diversity yet whose casting departments seem unable to look much beyond nubile young blonde women. Who denounce gun-toting Republicans and yet which over the years have happily engaged in films of gratuitous violence. Who rail against large corporations and globalisation while seeming to be unaware that they are themselves part of a globalised industry which has trampled over its smaller rivals.

I am not usually one to call for boycotts but I think in this case I will make an exception. Let’s protest against Weinstein and the rest of the moral cesspit that is Hollywood by refusing to go and see its films. There is hardly a shortage of alternative entertainment – though, thanks to the steamroller that is the Hollywood PR machine, it might seem so sometimes. You want diversity rather than overpaid white people preaching about it? Go and see an Indian film. You want to support people in poverty rather than lining the pockets of the wealthy? Go to your local theatre. Or look through the tremendously rich archives of Eastern European films, Scandinavian films – it is all there, on DVD on Amazon, on YouTube or elsewhere.

It is laziness that allows Hollywood -- even some of the worst of its films – to prosper. It is people gravitating to the multiplex because they have heard a loud noise about the latest blockbuster and can’t be bothered to research what else they could do with their evening. The irony is that never have we had so much choice and yet never has one source of entertainment – Hollywood – been so dominant. It won’t take much for the world to shun Weinstein and his like – all we need to do is become a little more adventurous.