Five years in the past on the Democratic National Convention, I went to a Planned Parenthood rally, the place one speaker was TV actress Lisa Edelstein.
“Do not go to the polls alone,” she advised us. “Drag any person, if she’s a lady particularly, as a result of these ladies are going to vote for Obama—in the event that they know what’s good for them.”
Edelstein is hardly the one Hollywood figure to make the case that liberal insurance policies are essential to ladies’s happiness and welfare. Yet, with the media nonetheless reeling from the revelations about highly effective Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s conduct towards ladies, it’s time to look at each the individuals selling that worldview—and the worldview itself.
The Edelstein episode stayed with me as a result of, as an avid fan of “House,” I used to be particularly devastated to see the actress who had performed the powerful, sensible Dr. Lisa Cuddy promote the nation’s largest abortion supplier, Planned Parenthood. That group is now preventing in Ohio towards a regulation banning abortions performed on the idea of gender. In different phrases, the oh-so-feminist Planned Parenthood is OK with the termination of being pregnant simply because the kid is a woman.
Yet Edelstein is way from alone in her assist from Planned Parenthood. At the Academy Awards this 12 months, actresses Emma Stone (who would win “Best Actress” that evening) and Dakota Johnson each displayed Planned Parenthood pins. “I stand with Planned Parenthood as a result of Planned Parenthood stands up for me,” stated Scarlett Johansson in a 2015 video.
? Show your assist at istandwithpp.org #StandWithPP #ScarlettJohansson #ScarJo #plannedparenthood
And the checklist of Planned Parenthood movie star supporters goes on and on, together with Kerry Washington, Nick Offerman, Alan Cumming, Ashley Judd, Mark Ruffalo, Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Stanley Tucci, and Neil Patrick Harris, based on Newsbusters. Weinstein himself pledged $100,000 to Planned Parenthood in May, though the group says he by no means delivered on the promise.
And that’s simply Planned Parenthood. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama each racked up appreciable movie star endorsements of their presidential races, in comparison with nearly none for Donald Trump and Mitt Romney. In a speech on the 2016 Democratic National Convention, actress Lena Dunham burdened how Clinton would assist ladies, saying: “Do you need equal pay for equal work? The proper to make choices about your body? Paid household go away?”
So shouldn’t Hollywood be a liberal utopia?
Yet the revelations about Weinstein’s conduct counsel Hollywood shouldn’t be, actually, a very good place to be a lady.
Writing for The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow—who was raised by Woody Allen, who continues to be tolerated by Hollywood after marrying his stepdaughter and being accused of baby molestation by one other daughter—spoke to 13 ladies who accused Weinstein of conduct starting from sexual harassment to rape. Here are a few of their accusations:
— “He compelled me to carry out oral intercourse on him … I stated, time and again, ‘I don’t wish to do that, cease, don’t,’” recounted Lucia Evans, on the time an aspiring actress. “He’s an enormous man. He overpowered me.”
— Weinstein “lunged at her, groping her breasts and trying to place a hand up her skirt whereas she protested,” wrote Farrow of magnificence pageant contestant Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, recounting her report back to the police after the incident.
— An unnamed lady who labored with the producer “stated that Weinstein introduced her to a lodge room beneath an expert pretext, become a bathrobe, and ‘compelled himself on me sexually.’ She stated no, repeatedly and clearly,” wrote Farrow.
And increasingly more tales have come out about Weinstein, with actresses similar to Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie talking out about his remedy of them.
Yet Weinstein is hardly a complete outlier in Hollywood. After issuing an announcement about Weinstein, actor Ben Affleck was accused of grabbing actress Hilarie Burton’s breast on the MTV present “Total Request Live” in 2003. He tweeted an apology.
I did not overlook.
— Hilarie Burton (@HilarieBurton) October 10, 2017
Joss Whedon, the producer and author behind TV reveals together with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” and writer-director of the blockbuster “Avengers” films, got here beneath fireplace from his ex-wife Kai Cole, who penned a damning essay about his affairs throughout their marriage in The Wrap this August. Cole wrote:
Despite understanding, on some degree, that what he was doing was mistaken, he by no means conceded the hypocrisy of being out on this planet preaching feminist beliefs, whereas on the identical time, taking away my proper to make selections for my life and my body primarily based on the reality. He deceived me for 15 years, so he may have every part he needed. I believed, everybody believed, that he was one of many good guys, dedicated to preventing for ladies’s rights, dedicated to our marriage, and to the ladies he labored with. But I now see how he used his relationship with me as a protect, each throughout and after our marriage, so nobody would query his relationships with different ladies or scrutinize his writing as something apart from feminist.
Whedon did reply to Cole’s essay with this assertion to The Wrap: “While this account consists of inaccuracies and misrepresentations which could be dangerous to their household, Joss shouldn’t be commenting, out of concern for his kids and out of respect for his ex-wife.”
And let’s not overlook Roman Polanski, who stays a Hollywood darling, regardless of his incapacity to return again to the United States—as a result of he has refused to serve jail time for drugging and raping a 13-year-old woman in 1977.
Besides dealing with groping, assault, and rape, Hollywood ladies have the precise to be upset about different issues, too. Despite being a land allegedly full of feminists, it’s frequent for feminine actresses to obtain much less pay than their male co-stars. And the variety of feminine administrators and producers stays small. I’ll let The New York Times movie critic Manohla Dargis take it from right here:
Women helped construct the business, however it has lengthy been a male-dominated enterprise that systematically treats ladies—as a category—as inferior to males. It is an business with a historical past of sexually exploiting youthful feminine performers and stamping expiration dates on older ones. It is an business that persistently denies feminine administrators employment and contemptuously treats the feminine viewers as a distinct segment, an issue, an afterthought.
And let’s additionally not overlook that Weinstein’s disgusting conduct appeared to be well-known in Hollywood—but nobody, with a thought to future victims, blew the whistle. In 2013, actor-filmmaker Seth MacFarlane made a pointed joke on the televised Academy Awards ceremony about Weinstein, telling Best Supporting Actress nominees, “Congratulations, you 5 women not must faux to be drawn to Harvey Weinstein.” Based on the nervous laughter of the viewers, it seems there wasn’t confusion on the allusion—however it could be 4 extra years earlier than the story broke.
How is that this supporting ladies?
It is simple to name Hollywood elites and liberal politicians hypocrites. It is frankly astonishing that Hillary Clinton, who tweeted in 2015 that “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported” (a declare that didn’t appear to increase to her husband’s alleged victims), took 5 days to denounce Weinstein. As prime White House aide Kellyanne Conway tweeted, Clinton isn’t all the time so gradual to react:
It took Hillary abt 5 minutes responsible NRA for madman’s rampage, however 5 days to sorta-kinda blame Harvey Weinstein 4 his sexually assaults.
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) October 10, 2017
Likewise, the Obamas took 5 days to concern a assertion.
The frequent issue could have been the amount of cash given to their campaigns, due to Weinstein. According to Politico, Weinstein’s efforts resulted in $1.4 million for Clinton’s 2016 marketing campaign and $600,000 for Obama’s 2012 marketing campaign. Not to be cynical, however: I believe we’ve got a motive for delay.
Now that Democrats and Hollywooders have realized there’s going to be no comeback for Weinstein, that there’s too many accusations of horrible issues, they’re shortly altering course. Weinstein has been fired from his firm. The Democratic National Committee, which has obtained $300,000 from Weinstein through the years, is donating $30,000 to charities together with EMILY’s List, which seeks to elect pro-abortion feminine politicians.
Which brings me again to my level: Perhaps Weinstein isn’t a hypocrite, however fairly the achievement of the actual values that undergird Hollywood. Maybe the abortion obsession shared by Democrats and celebrities isn’t about giving ladies futures, however about giving males the assure to have consequence-free intercourse, even when the condom breaks or the contraception fails.
Sure, it’s typically actresses, not actors, supporting Planned Parenthood—but when we’ve realized something from the Weinstein saga, it’s that actresses typically really feel compelled or pressured to do sure issues with a purpose to have a profitable profession.
Again: Let’s take a look at Hollywood’s conduct, not what it says. It’s a spot the place younger ladies are cherished and older ladies must desperately combat for good roles. It’s a spot the place males receives a commission extra, and the place males extra typically are the leaders. It’s a spot the place in some way Weinstein was allowed to sexually harass and assault ladies for many years, and a spot the place a rapist like Polanski and a person who married his adopted daughter, like Allen, can stay lionized.
Sarah Palin isn’t controlling Hollywood. Nor is George W. Bush, or Donald Trump, or Michele Bachmann, or Mike Pence, or another conservative figure the left slams. There’s no huge right-wing conspiracy right here, no outdoors forces upsetting the liberal utopia that’s Hollywood.
No, that is the world Hollywood has made for itself—and it’s a very ugly place, notably if you happen to’re a lady. Perhaps, as Whedon is accused of doing by his ex-wife, Hollywood males have simply realized it’s simpler to get away with unhealthy conduct towards ladies if you happen to say you embrace feminism.
It’s nice that Weinstein is lastly dealing with accountability. But it’s simply not him who ought to; it’s the values of the whole system that saved him protected in a liberal cocoon for therefore lengthy.
To steal Edelstein’s phrase, if ladies “know what’s good for them,” they need to take an extended, onerous take a look at Hollywood’s liberal values—and see in the event that they make a greater world for ladies, or as an alternative make it simpler for males to behave like out-of-control frat boys.
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