Thoughts on the Harvey Weinstein Scandal & What It’s like to be a Woman in Hollywood
I went to film school and I can remember sitting in the office of the head of the film department my senior year of college. We were talking about my thesis film and he asked me what I wanted to do when I graduated and where I wanted to work. I said “I’d kill to work at The Weinstein Company”. He looked at me, shocked, then replied, “They’re crazy… but you’re a little crazy too, so…” I laughed. I knew what he meant. I’m an aggressive, ball-buster.
Flash forward to my career in Hollywood. I was an associate producer at a post production house that cut movie trailers. We did quite a bit of work for TWC. I vividly remember getting to work on the Scary Movie 5 campaign. The day Bob Weinstein showed up to go over the marketing ideas, was a dream come true for me. (Even after reading Down and Dirty Pictures, I still, for some reason, loved the “Brothers Weinstein”) Bob was a doll. Funny. Professional. I thought surely the universe was opening my dream door for me, but after the news about Harvey dropped this past week, I’m so grateful it didn’t.
It’s been a few days since the bombshell dropped. Truthfully, it’s made my mind race. It was no secret that Harvey was a ruthless bully and there were always murmurings of how he could make or break a woman’s career in this town. Hollywood has it’s dirty little secrets and I’m shocked that something like this was swept under the rug for so long. His actions over the last 20+ years were a complete abuse of power, disgusting, disheartening… One side of me wishes that these women hadn’t let themselves be paid off or ignored. The other side of me, however, completely understands why they didn’t blow the whistle sooner. It’s terrifying for someone to have so much clout in town, that they can literally ruin your career.
Let’s be real… he won’t go to jail — that’s just how our justice system works with celebrities. My hope is that he pulls a Roman Polansky and never sets foot in the country again. I also hope that all of his big male collaborators speak out against him. I’m looking at you Quentin Tarantino and Michael Moore. Denounce or be assimilated. The choice is yours.
The film industry, still today, is primarily dominated by men, but that shouldn’t stop women from knocking down doors with creative guns blazing. Currently, out of 4 producers in my department, I am the only female. I went through numerous classes in film school where I was the only female, so this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Do I face challenges in getting the job done? Sometimes. But, I face them head on. Remember… I’m a ball-buster and if you’re a woman in this industry, you need to be.
The casting couch is as real today as it was during the early days of film. I’ve met women over the last 8 years here who have no shame lying on their backs for Hollywood elites. It’s gotten them agents, script options, fat alimony checks… Taking this approach to your career is what makes men like Harvey Weinstein. It emboldens men in power to think that they can then force themselves on other women in the industry– women who have no interest in sleeping their way to the top. Some of us want our careers to be based on talent and work ethic, which is why I’m so glad Harvey’s victims are speaking out. Many may have been “blacklisted” for turning down his advances, but at least they have their dignity.
I stand in solidarity with all of his accusers, hoping that this is the paradigm shift that Hollywood has needed for a long time. I hope that this scandal makes it easier for women to come forward WHEN the assault happens, not years later. It’s not just Harvey, it’s many high level executives, writers, and directors that abuse their power. Hollywood males are shaking in their boots right now and I’m happy to see them sweat. Maybe the future of film is female.
Au Revoir, Mr. Weinstein. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.