It’s been hard to miss Harvey Weinstein’s catastrophic fall from grace over the past couple of weeks. The allegations are mounting day by day as people lift their silence – and with each new story comes a set of fresh headlines. Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne, Judi Dench, Rose McGowan, Kate Beckinsale, Meryl Streep and many others have found themselves on the front page of the newspapers or posting statements on Instagram.
Yep, flipping the bird. Probably not the wisest of moves, Harv. It’s no wonder that Ketchum has cut ties with him – and they’re not the only ones. Alongside the high profile actresses sharing their stories, male stars have been quick to distance themselves from the man they used to fawn over. Seth MacFarlane spoke about how he included a jibe at Harvey as part of his Oscars schtick; Colin Firth went on the record to say Weinstein was ‘a frightening man to stand up to’. It’s easy to imagine the frantic calls from publicists to their clients urging them to craft a statement and get it out there immediately, distancing themselves from the shit storm as quickly as possible.
Ben Affleck found out just how toxic an association could be – after making a comment about Weinstein’s bad behaviour, eagle eyed Twitter users were quick to remind him of the time he groped MTV host, Hilarie Burton, live on TRL. All it took were three words – I didn’t forget – from Hilarie for the small observation to become a Twitter storm. He is now being subjected to a number of other allegations through social media, leading to him being called “Buttman”…as the saying goes, people in glass houses…
It really is on social media that the story is playing out in full. Rose McGowan, one of the women to come forward originally in the New York Times exclusive story, found herself blocked from Twitter for violating its policies during a spat with Affleck over his hypocrisy. Twitter were slow to explain that it was due to her tweeting someone’s personal phone number – in the gap, Rose took to Instagram to slam the social network and it’s “silencing of her voice”, leading to #WomenBoycottTwitter becoming a trending topic. Arguments were made that when Donald Trump can threaten nuclear war and not get banned, why would a woman speaking the truth qualify. Not a great time for Twitter.
Harvey even managed to become Hillary Clinton’s problem. Trump, never one to shy from taking a pop at his rival, said he wasn’t surprised to hear the news – and that the Democrats should come down from their high horse and admit that one of their biggest donors was a bad man. The Trumps attacked on mass, with Donald Trump Jr. tweeting that Hillary’s silence on the issue was incriminating. Hillary then made a statement, as did the Obamas, expressing shock and disgust. Even Weinstein’s money was seen as toxic – other leading Democrats like Elizabeth Warren were quick to donate it straight to women’s charities.
It maybe says something about Trump’s own levels of toxicity that he appears to be the only person who has come out of the situation unscathed. Let’s not forget that this is a man who was filmed bragging about grabbing women by the pussy in a locker room, which was broadcast to the world – and yet he still won the Presidency…just how he did that remains a mystery.
So, this all leads to the question – does Hollywood need a Harvey detox? The obvious answer is yes, but it looks like there is a large job to be done. Harvey is one man, and there are already grumblings that he is far from alone. Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek went on the record to say that senior executives had groped him. Who else will be next? In the world of celebrity press, this is the story that will keep on growing with each revelation, filling column inches and tarnishing reputations.
Hollywood will need to have a rebrand in order to move on – that massive Weinstein shaped hole will need to be filled. Weinstein is asking everyone to give him a second chance. Let’s just hope Hollywood doesn’t go offering.