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Judgment Day: Harvey Weinstein Scandal Could Finally Probably Won’t Change Hollywood’s Culture of Secrecy

(Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)

and report:  Harvey Weinstein’s implosion has been cathartic for Lauren Sivan, one of the dozens of women who have come forward in recent days alleging that the once-celebrated mogul was a serial sexual harasser and abuser. It’s a moment of justice and public condemnation that seemed all but impossible to imagine mere weeks ago when Weinstein enjoyed a position as one of the most powerful figures in media, a skilled operator whose connections stretched from Capitol Hill to Wall Street and whose sense of entitlement knew no bounds.

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“You reap what you sow,” says Sivan. “I know that he believed for years that he was untouchable, and a lot of people helped him be untouchable.”Weinstein’s precipitous fall has been stunning, if not a long time coming. He’s been fired from his own company, ostracized by his longtime friends and collaborators in the entertainment industry, transformed from power player to butt of late-night talk-show jokes, ditched by his wife and abandoned by the Democratic political leaders who once coveted his endorsement. The Weinstein Co. is weighing a sale to Colony Capital.

Along with Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly and L.A. Reid, Weinstein is a sign that the old methods that stars and top executives used to cover up their sins isn’t working. Their praetorian guards of lawyers and spin-makers, their penchant for paying hush money to victims and making them sign draconian nondisclosure agreements that prevent them from going public, can no longer buy silence.

[Read the full story here, at Variety]

Hollywood’s veil of secrecy has been pierced, and such complicity and enabling may no longer be tolerated in a company town that has long protected its own.

“We are shining a bright light on aggressors and powerful offenders as an example to every other employee out there,” says TV commentator Wendy Walsh, one of O’Reilly’s accusers.

CREDIT: PETER STRAIN FOR VARIETY

As the chorus of accusers grows daily and as Weinstein finds himself isolated and abandoned by the A-list stars and directors he once claimed as friends, the conversation in Hollywood is pointing to a major shift. The hope in the industry is that the alleged abhorrent behavior by Weinstein and the other perpetrators will trigger some genuine soul-searching across the entertainment business and beyond.

Instead of simply inspiring big names in the industry to release anodyne statements that are light on substance and heavy on synonyms for deplorable, there’s an urge to have a deeper conversation about how to improve the climate and culture in Hollywood so whistle-blowers are supported and predators aren’t rewarded with corner offices, private jets and a license to operate with impunity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Introducing: The Woody Allen Center for Sexual Health & Rehabilitation

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Weinstein Bonfire: Harvey Got Exposed Because He’s Not Profitable Anymore 

A collective jaw dropped this week as Asia Argento, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette and a host of other women joined Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan in speaking publicly about being harassed, mauled and even allegedly raped by Hollywood’s heavyweight gorilla, Harvey Weinstein.

Media outlets ironically wrung their hands and asked in big, bold block letters: How could this have gone on for so long? If everyone knew, why didn’t anyone say anything? And the inevitable: What can be done?

To answer these questions, let’s look beyond the Harvey-shaped elephant in the room. Behind the touted veneer of creative genius and imagination, the Hollywood studio system (an umbrella term that now encompasses movie studios, television networks, news organizations, tech companies and new media) was built on top of the cushions of the casting couch. And, as we’ve seen several times this year, that couch was never retired.

Priceless Hollywood memorabilia including CHARLIE CHAPLIN's bowler hat, JUDY GARLAND's ruby slippers from THE WIZARD OF OZ, and a dress worn by MARILYN MONROE in the infamous "flashing" scene from THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH are to go up for auction this month (Jun11). Veteran actress Debbie Reynolds has built up an enormous collection of iconic artefacts worth millions of dollars and is selling the haul after plans to set up a movie museum fell through. Other incredible pieces in the auction are Audrey Hepburn's frock from My Fair Lady - which is expected to fetch up to 00,000 (£187,500) - the sweater worn by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music (0,000/£37,500), and Cleopatra's crown famously sported by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 epic. Monroe's shimmering, red sequined dress from Gentleman Prefer Blondes is expected to raise up to 00,000 (£187,500), Barbra Streisand's Hello, Dolly! gown is valued at 0,000 (£50,000), Chaplin's hat is worth 0,000 (£18,750), and the ruby slippers are 50,000 (£93,750). But the star attraction of the sale is the white pleated frock worn by Monroe in the iconic New York "subway" scene in The Seven Year Itch - it's expected to sell for a cool million (£1.25 million). The auction will be held in Beverly Hills on 18 June (11). (ZN/WN) The Wizard of Oz (1939) Directed by Victor Fleming Shown: Judy Garland (as Dorothy Gale), wearing the ruby slippers This is a PR photo. WENN does not claim any Copyright or License in the attached material. Fees charged by WENN are for WENN's services only, and do not, nor are they intended to, convey to the user any ownership of Copyright or License in the material. By publishing this material, the user expressly agrees to indemnify and to hold WENN harmless from any claims, demands, or causes of action arising out of or connected in any way with user's publication of the material. Supplied by WENN.com When: 13 May 1939 Credit: WENN

I witnessed a lot at Page Six — only a fraction of which ever hit the paper (for a multitude of reasons). But I will share one incident in May 2004 that has always summed up for me how this industry really feels about women.

[Read the full story here, at the New York Post]

I had gone to dinner with a friend who was in town for the upfronts (the big annual congregation where television network executives fly in from Los Angeles and present their upcoming slates of new shows). He worked at United Talent Agency and was psyched when I scored us an 8 p.m. reservation at the hottest place in town, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, unfortunately, next to a table of three drunk and loud television executives, one of whom I knew headed up a cable network.

“I need a hooker while I’m in town,” one man quasi-yelled.

“Dude — the top-shelf whores go for $1,000 an hour, $5,000 a night,” the cable exec bragged to his friends.

“That’s all? All night?”

“All night — whatever you want — and these are working actresses.”

“No way — who are we talking about?”

The executive, in between ordering more bottles of Patron silver, proceeded to bray out the names of women who were indeed working actresses as well as models — including one woman who was cast in a show on his network. He was her boss.

“How do you think she got the job?” the executive joked, as the others high-fived him.
That incident always ate at me — it was the crystallization of just how lousy it is out there for women trying to either get a job, do their job or advance in one of the most powerful industries in America. Read the rest of this entry »


FBI Harvey Weinstein Probe Ordered by Trump Justice Department

The FBI has opened an investigation into disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has learned – on orders from Trump’s DoJ.

  • The FBI has opened an investigation into Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned on Wednesday 
  • Three women, including Actress Asia Argento and Lucia Evans, have come forward and claimed the producer forced himself on them sexually
  • The DOJ’s order is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein’s friendship with President Trump’s defeated rival Hillary Clinton
  • Weinstein donated heavily to Clinton and although she said she was shocked and dismayed by his actions, she hasn’t returned any of his contributions
  • The 65-year-old is said to be planning to depart for Europe in order to receive professional treatment and go to sex therapy in wake of the scandal
  • His hasty international departure sparks fears of a Roman Polanski-style situation, where he dodges prosecution in the U.S
  • Polanski has managed to avoid US officials since he plead guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old in 1978

Ryan Parry reports: The FBI has opened an investigation into Harvey Weinstein, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned.

DailyMail.com understands the move came at the behest of the Department of Justice, run by Donald Trump‘s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which instructed the bureau to investigate the mounting allegations leveled at the movie mogul.

While it is unknown whether the DOJ order came directly from Sessions, the move is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein’s friendship with Trump foe Hillary Clinton.

The move by the DOJ came amid rumors that Weinstein plans to head to Europe for sex rehab – leading to fears of a Roman Polanski-style situation where he dodges prosecution in the U.S.

The FBI can both look at whether he has committed any federal crimes in the U.S. and prepare extradition proceedings if he remains in Europe.

The FBI has opened an investigation into disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned

The FBI has opened an investigation into disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sex crimes, DailyMail.com has exclusively learned

The move came at the behest of the Department of Justice, run by Donald Trump's Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The move is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein's friendship with Trump's rival Hillary Clinton

Among the allegations against Weinstein, which the FBI is expected to examine, is that he forced Lucia Evans, a student who wanted to be an actress, to perform oral sex on him in New York in 2004.

New York State has no statute of limitations on rape and criminal sexual acts – its legal term for forced oral or anal intercourse.

The move came at the behest of the Department of Justice, run by Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The move is likely to be seen in a political light given Weinstein’s friendship with Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton.

Hollywood powerhouse Weinstein has traveled the globe promoting his movies and the belief is that he could have committed sex crimes in several countries.

So far five accusers have given accounts of attacks in France, while allegations of attacks in London have also surfaced – any of which could lead to charges there.

The FBI has field offices in both countries and could assist prosecutors there with their cases.

A spokesperson for the FBI in New York said: ‘We do not confirm or deny the existence of ongoing investigations.’ Read the rest of this entry »


LILO TO THE RESCUE: Lindsay Lohan Defends Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Feel Very Bad’

In a now-deleted Instagram post, Lohan faces the camera and offers support for the mogul rather than his alleged victims: ‘I think everyone needs to stop; I think it’s wrong. So stand up.’

Chris Gardner reports: On a day filled with explosive news about Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced and troubled film mogul has found an ally in Lindsay Lohan.

The actress attempted to throw water on the fiery Weinstein story by posting a series of clips on Instagram’s Stories feature. After introducing herself on her own account with, “Hi, this is Lindsay Lohan” followed by a wave to the camera, the 31-year-old announces that she is “home” in Dubai. Then came a plea to get everyone to stop.

“I feel very bad for Harvey Weinstein right now. I don’t think it’s right what’s going on,” Lohan said. “I think Georgina [Chapman] needs to take a stand and be there for her husband.”

The latter statement came in a second clip added to the same story, this one with an angel emoji inserted under the name “Harvey.”

Apparently Lohan missed the breaking news from earlier in the day when the Marchesa designer Chapman, who has been married to Weinstein since 2007, announced to People that she was leaving him in the wake of a new batch of horrifying allegations published in The New Yorker and The New York Times. Chapman asked for privacy as she cares for the couple’s two young children. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions,” she said. Some of those women went on the record in today’s published reports, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rosanna Arquette, Asia Argento, Mira Sorvino, Lucia Evans, Judith Godrèche, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Katherine Kendall and Dawn Dunning.

[Read the full story here, at Hollywood Reporter]

In her clip, Lohan said that she was not among those hurt by Weinstein. “He’s never harmed me or did anything to me. We’ve done several movies together. I think everyone needs to stop; I think it’s wrong. So stand up,” she said, before signing off.

Wrong is a word that has been used many times, but on the other side of the fence by those who have spoken out against Weinstein’s alleged misconduct. Barack and Michelle Obama picked “disgusting” for their statement as they were just two of the many high-profile names who released statements today, showing how far-reaching this scandal is. Read the rest of this entry »


Introducing: The Roman Polanski Center

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[VIDEO] ‘I Hurt People for a Reason’: Milo Yiannopoulos Spars with Bill Maher

The liberal talk show host and conservative Breitbart editor tried to find common ground during an 11-minute discussion, which made national headlines earlier this week after previously scheduled Real Time guest The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill dropped out of the show to protest Yiannopoulos’ booking.

“The Democrats are the party of Lena Dunham. These people are mental, hideous people, and the more that America sees of Lena Dunham, the fewer votes that the Democratic Party is going to get.”

 reports: Bill Maher and Milo Yiannopoulos had their controversial showdown on HBO’s Real Time on Friday night, though there were fewer sparks than some had perhaps expected.

“I wrote a bad review of the movie. I said she look like a dude, she does. I said she’s barely literate, she is.”

The liberal talk show host and conservative Breitbart editor tried to find common ground during an 11-minute discussion, which made national headlines earlier this week after previously scheduled Real Time guest The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill dropped out of the show to protest Yiannopoulos’ booking.

“And I simply don’t accept that the star of a Hollywood blockbuster is sitting in a Hollywood mansion crying over mean words on the internet; get over it. Mean words on the internet don’t hurt anyone,”

“The reason [liberals] want to police humor is they can’t control it — because the one thing all authoritarians hate is the sound of laughter,” Yiannopoulos said.

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“Nothing annoys people like the truth. Policing humor for racism and sexism is utterly wrongheaded. Not because normally it’s not there, but because that’s how we build bridges and not how we break them.”

“And also because when people laugh they know it’s true,” Maher agreed. “… You are so helped by the fact that liberals always take the bait.”

“I hurt people for a reason. I like to think of myself as a virtuous troll.”

“Nothing annoys people like the truth,” Yiannopoulos concurred. “Policing humor for racism and sexism is utterly wrongheaded. Not because normally it’s not there, but because that’s how we build bridges and not how we break them.”

[Read the full story here, at ew.com]

Yet Yiannopoulos made blatant sexist comments during the interview, criticizing Amy Schumer and Sarah Silverman as people who “used to be funny before they contracted feminism.” Read the rest of this entry »


Weinstein: “I don’t think we need guns in this country. And I hate it. I think the NRA is a disaster area…”

weinsteinWeinstein Update: Over at HotAirEd Morrissey has comments:

Congratulations, genius. You’re setting out to make a movie that will annoy more than 60 million Americans who responsibly own firearms.  What a great marketing strategy that will be! Why, this new project will take … the same oh-so-courageous-and-tediously-didactic path as the anti-war films Lions for Lambs and Rendition, two films which bombed at the box office in 2007, both of which also starred … Meryl Streep.

 “I’m making a movie that the NRA will hate…”

— Weinstein

Let’s muse on the irony, though, of Harvey Weinstein making this declaration. How much gunfire went into Pulp Fiction, which he exec-produced? The 2008 Rambo sequel? Jackie Brown?

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘The Five’ Gleefully Torch Hollywood Hypocrite Gas Bag Harvey Weinstein

‘Like a Pimp Who Thinks He’s Helping Women in the Workforce’

Harvey Weinstein: Makes a fortune on movies featuring spectacular gun violence. Enjoys the protection of armed bodyguards. Doesn't want you to have guns.

Harvey Weinstein: Makes a fortune on movies featuring obscene gun violence. Enjoys the protection of armed bodyguards. But doesn’t want you, or anyone else, to have guns.

The Five was not amused by big-time Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein saying he’s going to make a movie that basically trashes the NRA, calling him out as a typical Hollywood hypocrite who makes money off violent films. Greg Gutfeld in particular was bothered by Weinstein’s “fundamental hatred of people who have to protect themselves” and called him a “jackass.”

Eric Bolling brought up movies like Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, violent movies that Weinstein was involved in the production of. Bolling said Weinstein’s just talking out of his ass, and clashed with Bob Beckel over the NRA itself, with Beckel calling them “right-wing jerks” who run a “horrible” organization.

Read the rest of this entry »


Harvey Weinstein Assigns Blame: Obama is Right, it’s America That’s Wrong.

Glad We Got That Cleared Up

Despite the botched launch of Obamacare, the United States as a whole, because of its opposition to the health-care law and support of gun rights, is still more of an embarrassment than the president, said film executive Harvey Weinstein. He also asserted that then-senator Obama wouldn’t have been “beating” on George W. Bush if Bush had rolled out a dysfunctional program as president.

Weinstein, a big donor to the president, downplayed the problems with Obamacare’s implementation and the misleading promise that Americans could keep their insurance plans, saying:

Obama “made a mistake — he’s human.”

“This is the only country in the world where we don’t have a health-care,” he told CNN’s Piers Morgan over the weekend “Countries embarrass us around the world — this is the only country in the world where we don’t have a gun law.”

“Obama’s not embarrassing — the country’s embarrassing”

Via Weasel Zippers – National Review Online


Oscar Season Begins: Sorting the Art from the Propaganda, no easy task

sorcerers-apprenticeRoger L. Simon writes: Every year at this time, my house turns into a version of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from Disney’s Fantasia, with endless brooms and buckets descending on hapless Mickey Mouse. Only the brooms and buckets are DVDs of the year’s movies sent to me, as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to garner my Oscar vote. Like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the process begins as a benign, hopeful experience but then can turn almost nightmarish, as flick after flick shows up at my door, my will to watch declining with each new arrival. And this year hasn’t even begun so benignly. Read the rest of this entry »