As the shock’n’awe campaign against a much-deserving Harvey Weinstein reaches peak media obsession, one of the most popular phrases we keep reading and hearing about bad ol’ Harv’s predatory behavior is that it was an “open secret.”
Though not so open that Weinstein-produced Oscar-winners Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, or Weinstein’s publicity rep Cindi Berger and others, were aware, apparently. They were shocked. Shocked! [“Your Oscar, ma’am.” “Oh, thank you very much!”]
But Harvey Weinstein’s manipulative mogul mechanizations to molest are hardly Hollywood’s only, or, sadly, most horrific “open secret.”
First, because Weinstein is hardly the only powerful man in Hollywood pressuring young actresses for sexual favors in return for stardom. It’s been going on since the silent pictures, and it goes on now. Probably a lot.
The producer Chris Hanley likely regrets saying in 2005 “almost every leading actress in all 24 films [I’ve produced] has slept with a director, producer or a leading actor to get the part that launched her career.” Yet he did say it. You can search for his films, we won’t name names for you.
But Hollywood’s casting couch is so notorious, such an “open secret,” that people have been making references to it since the 1930s and writing exposés since at least the 1950s.
Weinstein maybe the wolf of the moment, but if you ever dig into Don Simpson and his videocassette collection of young starlets, for example, you’ll see a lot of Hollywood bad guys just consider pressuring young women into sex a major job perque. At least, far as we know, Weinstein wasn’t recording his “conquests.”
But it’s the child sexual abuse and kid rapes that go on in Hollywood that are the “Open Secret” we hope the Harvey Weinstein revelations ultimately crack open. So we’ll keep sharing the movie about Hollywood pedophilia of the same name.
Because it’s this pedophile shit that might ultimately crack the media industry–and more–wide open and bring in a wave of creative change that will ultimately lead to mentally healthier people in charge of masses’ entertainments (and news). Not to mention perhaps stagger the huge global child sexual abuse crime ring that leads to both politics and the Pentagon as well.
To put it in perspective, let’s take one of the anti-Weinstein heroines of the moment, Rose McGowan. If you bounce back to a 2011 interview in the LGBT publication The Advocate, they ask Ms. McGowan about working with film director Victor Salva (Powder, the Jeepers Creepers series), a convicted and registered pedophile sex offender. This was her response:
“Yeah, I still don’t really understand the whole story or history there, and I’d rather not, because it’s not really my business. But he’s an incredibly sweet and gentle man, lovely to his crew, and a very hard worker.”
This is an unsettling comment, and not only because of the cavalier attitude about a child rapist. Were Weinstein’s transgressions Ms. McGowan’s business only because she had been a victim? If he’d left her alone but was harming other actresses, would it not have been her business?
Six years later, perhaps Ms. McGowan’s perceptions have changed. Let’s hope so.
Same too for America’s biggest female movie star Scarlett Johansson. When defending Woody Allen, she described sex between adults and children as “a lifestyle choice.” Perhaps just a poor word choice. We all make them.
And yet….as we shared earlier, in the now-well-known interview on “The View” (we LOVE seeing this clip pop up all over the place in the past couple days) with Corey Feldman and Barbara Walters: The entertainment and media business is far more concerned about the rampant kid raping going on in the entertainment industry becoming public knowledge and damaging their bottom line than they are stopping it. And that’s the type of horror that gives capitalism a bad name.
The only way there’s going to be any change is through raised awareness on a mass scale. That’s one reason why we launched TrineDaily to begin with, to do our small part. We hope you do yours, too.