A forest of trees has already been sacrificed to this fast-spreading Weinstein burn, but I have to share a few observations regarding the flaming fall of this entertainment mogul. There have been many others, of course, in that industry who have similarly crashed to earth—e.g. Bill Cosby--but Weinstein is a particularly instructive example or reminder of the moral vacuum within the Hollywood elite. Even actors whom I still believe are honorable people at heart--e.g. Sean Astin--have admitted uneasy questions with regards to this individual. Others, like Jane Fonda, must have known exactly what was happening, yet chose to ignore it for the sake of not rocking that economic boat. Well, that boat is surely rocking now. Uncomfortable questions need to be asked, no, demanded. How many in Hollywood were enabling Weinstein through the tacit approval of their silence? Powerful figures in the political field, Bill and Hillary Clinton for instance, were known to very close to Weinstein. Given the prior escapades of Bill Clinton, it would be hard to conceive of Weinstein’s wicked and exploitive ways of being too much a mystery to Bill; birds of a feather flock together, as they say.
With regards to the political dimension—briefly—the hypocrisy is astonishing. Those who have fought for so-called women’s rights, such as legalized infanticide, viewed Weinstein as a powerful ally. Many seem at a serious (and convenient) loss for words now. It reminds me of observations from my recent study abroad visit to Rome. These are the edited words from a social media post from Rome a few weeks ago.
Three young men just came into Roman cafe having a clear and public discussion about having received "verbal consent." That's all the girl was worth apparently: a phrase of English legalese. Granted I don't speak but snatches of Italian, but I've been hearing the vilest sexual objectifications of Italian women in English. They apparently are under the false impression that either no one else speaks English, or no one will care--more likely the latter.
Interesting disconnect between the rallying cry for "feminism," and the restraint it removes from those men otherwise slowed by societal norms or expectations. Once the chivalric norms are thrown in the trash, men are even more free to demonstrate disrespect and sexual objectification towards women, because society has freed men to be more themselves at heart, while simultaneously holding to the public cry of feminism. Talk about having one's cake and eating it too. Whether man or woman, respect for others begins in one sense with non-objectification, appreciation for people created in the image of God.
The bilge issuing forth from Hollywood and the press has a bewildering allure to many, though, and I suggest that this should bring us face-to-face with ourselves. Because, if you agree that Weinstein had his finger on the pulse of the nation’s entertainment tastes and preferences, then there is a sense in which he is our weaknesses projected or multiplied by a few times: a distorted reflection, if you will. Rather than speak of the Left or the Right, this might be a better opportunity to pause and reflect upon the values we are instilling in our children and our loved ones. Are we willing to sacrifice our own well-being or comfort to take a stand—before the stand becomes a popular one? Each time Weinstein’s friends, acquaintances or employees knew something was seriously wrong, yet failed to take decisive and meaningful action, they might as well have given him a thumbs-up and a knowing wink; inaction is simply a different kind of action.