Will the Harvey Weinstein Scandal Change Hollywood’s Culture of Secrecy?
Weinstein's fall from grace has been stunning.
Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace has been stunning. After two separate articles came out about his three decades of alleged sexual assault, harassment and rape, and multiple women stepped forward to reveal more allegations, Weinstein has been fired from his own company, ostracized by his friends and collaborators in the entertainment industry, dropped by his wife, abandoned by the Democratic leaders he once endorsed, and transformed into the butt of late-night talk-show jokes, writes Variety. The Weinstein Company is currently debating a sale.
But Weinstein is also a sign that the secrecy and hush-hush methods that Hollywood used to cover up their sins is no longer working. Variety writes that Hollywood’s “veil of secrecy has been pierced.” Is it possible that such enabling and complicity will no longer be tolerated in a community that has long protected its own?
According to Variety, the hope is that the players in the industry will do some major soul searching. And instead of just releasing statements condemning actions, the new goal is that there will be deeper conversations about how to improve the “climate and culture in Hollywood so whistle-blowers are supported and predators aren’t rewarded,” writes Variety.
Mary Parent, vice chairman of worldwide production at Legendary Entertainment, told Variety that pretty much all anyone can talk about is, “How can we prevent this situation from happening again?”
Hollywood has long rewarded abusers, and it is hard to imagine a world where they are held accountable for their bad behavior. But according to Variety, studio executives and filmmakers believe that the mass of accusers who are coming out of hiding could represent a turning point.
Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, told Variety, “Bottom line, no matter what rung of the corporate ladder you’re on, bad behavior will not be tolerated. Period.”
While this seems very positive going forward, it doesn’t mean that Hollywood can avoid addressing the many allegations that have come out in the past few weeks. Major actresses such as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, Kate Beckinsale and Mira Sorvino have all talked about abuse from Weinstein back in the 1980s, reports Variety.
TV commentator Wendy Walsh, one of O’Reilly’s accusers, has a suggestion for how to move forward.
“Remove the code of silence,” she said to Variety. “Give more power to human resource departments. Take women and men who have been harassed seriously.”
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