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 »


Feminism 2015: United Nations Discovers Most Human Traffic Perpetrators are Women

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Women are the majority of traffickers in almost a third of the 155 nations the U.N. surveyed. They accounted for more than 60 percent of the human trafficking convictions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Surprisingly, the perpetrators behind human trafficking around the world are often women, the U.N. reported Thursday.

Women are the majority of traffickers in almost a third of the 155 nations the U.N. surveyed. They accounted for more than 60 percent of the human trafficking convictions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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“Until a few years ago, I blissfully believed that slavery was a thing of the past…Well, obviously I was terribly wrong.”

— Mira Sorvino, U.N. goodwill ambassador

For many, human trafficking is a world they had been pulled into themselves.

“Women commit crimes against women, and in many cases the victims become the perpetrators,” Antonio Maria Costa, director of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, said in an interview. “They become the matrons of the business and they make money. It’s like a drug addiction.”

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“We only see the monster’s tail. How many hundreds of thousands of victims are slaving away in sweatshops, fields, mines, factories, or trapped in domestic servitude? Their numbers will surely swell as the economic crisis deepens the pool of potential victims.”

— Antonio Maria Costa, director of the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime

Most of the world’s nations reported some form of “modern slavery” last year involving mainly the sex trade or forced labor.

And the number of victims should grow as the global financial crisis deepens, Costa said.

The report by Costa’s office was based largely on human trafficking convictions reported to the U.N. between September 2007 and July 2008. About 22,500 victims were rescued during that time. About four of every five reported cases involved sexual exploitation; most of the rest involved forced labor.

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“Women commit crimes against women, and in many cases the victims become the perpetrators. They become the matrons of the business and they make money. It’s like a drug addiction.”

But Costa’s agency gave no overall figures for how many millions of people might be affected. He said most countries’ conviction rates for human trafficking rarely exceed 1.5 per 100,000 people.

Two of every five countries covered in the report had not recorded a single conviction from 2007 to 2008.

“Either these countries are blind to the problem or they are ill-equipped to deal with it,” Costa said. Read the rest of this entry »