People are still wondering what to do about Harvey Weinstein.
CBS’ James Corden mentioned the issue – after late night hosts were taken to task for NOT mentioning the issue – at an October 13 event in Beverly Hills, by opening with ““This is a beautiful room, it’s a beautiful night here in L.A. It’s so beautiful, Harvey Weinstein has already asked tonight up to his hotel to give him a massage.” And later: “Harvey Weinstein wanted to come tonight, but he’ll settle for whatever potted plant is closest.”
This did not go over well. Rose McGowan, who was at the forefront of this issue, called Corden a “motherfucking piglet” and said that he was a friend of “HW.” Anthony Bourdain, whose girlfriend Asia Argento has (like McGowan) accused Weinstein of rape, ripped that much deeper into Corden, saying “NOONE stood up and said, ‘fuck you, Pop’n Fresh!'” and “Mr. Corden is free to tell whatever jokes he likes. As he should be. I’m free to suggest he’s a porcine, pandering tool”.
I was struck that while both McGowan and Bourdain were trying to strike out to stop women from being objectified, neither felt qualms about making fun of Corden’s weight. Now I love Anthony Bourdain, but: He’s on CNN. Not only that, he’s a chef, and should be a little more sensitive to the fact that weight gain is a possible hazard of gastronomy. I could ask Bourdain if his ability to eat without getting fat is a beneficial side effect of his former heroin addiction. But that would be mean.
I can understand the resentment somewhat. Harvey Weinstein is simply one very obnoxious example of something that has been tolerated in management-labor relations for longer than anyone has reported, and the culture is getting to a point where people want to do something about it. So they want comedians to bring it up. But then when comedians tell jokes about the subject, they go, “how DARE you! This has been made light of for far too long! The time for tasteless jokes about sexist millionaires is OVER!”
Oh, of course. When all the tasteless jokes and sexist millionaires have monopolized the Republican Party, there should be no place for them in our sense of humor.
But this is a serious subject. When Harvey Weinstein’s own brother says their relationship was so poisonous that he could barely deal with him on a professional level, the brand of the family name has gotten to the point that the future of The Weinstein Company – which produced the Lord of the Rings films and award-winning works by Anthony Mingella and Quentin Tarantino – is almost certainly limited. And it struck me: How does the rump organization survive when people still know it was associated with the lowest form of sexist, bullying boor?
Have Donald Trump buy it!
After all, he has much the same reputation, and he actually got elected.
And it’s no secret that Trump craves media attention and respectability. He tried to make himself an Atlantic City casino mogul in direct opposition to the industry in Las Vegas. And ran four casinos into the ground. He became a major owner in the spring-league USFL. And ran it into the ground. Then he lent his name to NBC’s The Apprentice. Which got cancelled in its first iteration after steadily declining ratings. So if anything happened to the (former) Weinstein Group under Trump, at least it doesn’t have much to lose.
And it is testimony to how surreal and reality-threatening this Administration is that just after I came up with that idea, I saw this article while web-surfing:
Close Trump Associate Invests in Weinstein Company, Will Presumably Also Pursue Cosby Partnership
“On Monday, the Weinstein Company announced that a financier named Tom Barrack has agreed to provide it with “an immediate capital infusion” and begin negotiations regarding ‘a potential sale of all or a significant portion of the Company’s assets.’ … In other words, it appears that Tom Barrack is bailing Harvey Weinstein and his enablers out.
“What are some of the other items on Tom Barrack’s professional résumé? Let’s hear from CNN:
It was 1994 and the land once known as “Trump City” was an embarrassing boondoggle, crumbling at the feet of an erratic namesake who took out $400 million in loans and seemed all too willing to default on more. Chase realtors could not see a path to black for debt king Donald Trump.
Tom Barrack could.
“Barrack, the network writes, then traveled from “New York to Los Angeles, Taiwan, London and Saudi Arabia, begging billionaires to buy the loans and keep the bankers from Trump’s throat.” And it worked! Barrack would go on to become a major fundraiser for Trump’s presidential campaign and chair Trump’s inaugural committee. Trump, of course, has been accused of sexual assault by 15 women.”
Truly, birds of a feather.
One has given lots of money and media attention to Bill and Hillary Clinton. One has been known to be violently abusive of his male associates and underlings, in public. One has an unproven but well-rumored reputation of of philandering, sexual harassment and even physical abuse and rape. And such rumors never get anywhere because said person has always used his legal and media connections to crush any individual victim’s attempts at exposure.
What’s the real difference between Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein? Clearly, the difference is that when one is a Democrat, Republicans actually care.
That’s the key. Republicans are clearly willing to tolerate the exact same things in Donald Trump that they would never tolerate in any other person. Not even any other Republican. Why? Because Republicans are good Christians. Because you have to have faith. And faith is trust in things unseen. Such as, Donald Trump’s intelligence, competence, and moral integrity.
Weinstein, or more directly, his company, needs a rebranding. Trump desperately craves legitimacy in the media. He can get it by attaching his brand to an equally desperate institution that used to have success and prestige and is now just trying to survive. Like he did with the Republican Party.
Trump. Weinstein. It’s a match made in Heaven.
That is, if you, like me, are an atheist.