UPDATE: Since the posting of this article, Harvey Weinstein was fired from the company he founded. See the details of that part of the story here.
When you think about it, they are offensive to differing degrees for sure but Harvey Weinstein, Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Bill Cosby, Bill Clinton and our president Donald Trump are all guilty of at least disgusting misogyny and at most felonious criminal activity. Men who lack respect for women in the most base terms need to be called out (or removed from positions of power, or thrown in prison) be they Republicans, Democrats or nonpartisans. More directly, any political group must reject money from these types of individuals.
Thus far, there has been a muted response to Weinstein’s actions. First, Hollywood Hurricane Harvey tried to explain himself and he made it worse. He alternately tried to deny much of it, laugh it off or explain it away by saying he is a product of the 60s and 70s. Ugh. Weinstein is a liberal letch who needs to be ostracized by every decent American regardless of political stripe.
High profile politicians who benefitted from Weinstein’s largesse quickly ran for cover and gave any money they received from the Miramax founder to charity.
The same can’t be said for Democratic Party groups. The Democratic National Committee, has decided to give $30,000 of the $300,000 it’s received from Weinstein over the years to political groups promoting females in elected office—EMILY’s List, Emerge America and Higher Heights. I think all three are fantastic organizations; we need more qualified women in political leadership positions. But then the question follows, do these women-promoting groups want Weinstein’s money, even indirectly? It’s tainted cabbage no matter how it comes your way.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (the Senate arm of the party) has received $100,000 from Weinstein since 2002 and has not yet said what, if anything, it will do with the money. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (the House arm) has not yet given its Weinstein money to charity or returned it to the offender.
Connecticut US Sen. Chris Murphy was asked about the party committees not getting rid of the Weinstein cash on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning and he half-heartedly said sure, get rid of the money. But even the national-scene-emerging Murphy wasn’t very strong or unequivocal on the issue. He blew it this time.
Weinstein himself is one disgusting character. The New York Times ran the story that publicly exposed him (apparently anyone with any connection to him has long known the guy’s a pig), his first response was, “The story sounds so good, I want to buy the movie rights.” Then, his lawyer, Lisa Bloom said “many” of the accusations were false.
(Attorney Bloom is the daughter of feminist firebrand lawyer Gloria Allred. Bloom has since left the case and Weinstein’s employ. The whole mess should make for interesting Thanksgiving table discussion at the Allred-Bloom family household.)
There is something to the claims that Hollywood has a double standard for dirtbag conservatives like Ailes and O’Reilly and slimeball liberals like Weinstein. Late night folks like Jimmy Kimmel have been important voices in policy issues like health care or gun control. The Jimmy Fallons, Stephen Colberts and Seth Myers of the world don’t hesitate to parody Trump is the most hilarious ways. They’ve said nothing about Weinstein whose situation should be comedy gold.
Sexual harassment is a scourge in our society and knows no political bounds. I think of my beautiful and sweet nieces and want to go all Stan Jonathan on people like Weinstein. All offenders should be treated the same—ostracized, shunned and banished to the margins of decent society.