Weinstein’s Progressive Absolution

The Hollywood boss has a defense against sexual harassment claims.

 
 

Harvey Weinstein in Antibes, France, May 23.
Harvey Weinstein in Antibes, France, May 23. PHOTO: YANN COATSALIOU/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES
 

We’ve heard of 12-step programs to cure addiction, but the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is counting on a remarkable one-step plan to gain absolution for what is reported to be decades of harassing young women in his employ—his progressive politics.

Mr. Weinstein’s astonishing response to a long report in the New York Times includes an apology for having “caused a lot of pain,” without admitting or denying any specific transgression. There’s also some psycho-babble about his “demons,” and he told the New York Post separately that he’s going to sue the Times for defamation. But he saves his main defense, his Johnnie Cochran, for the final paragraph of his statement when he plays the progressive card:

“I am going to need a place to channel that anger so I’ve decided that I’m going to give the NRA my full attention. I hope Wayne LaPierre [the National Rifle Association executive] will enjoy his retirement party. I’m going to do it at the same place I had my Bar Mitzvah. I’m making a movie about our President, perhaps we can make it a joint retirement party. One year ago, I began organizing a $5 million foundation to give scholarships to women directors at USC. While this might seem coincidental, it has been in the works for a year. It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.”

As long as he declares his opposition to the gun lobby and Donald Trump, he figures he’ll be forgiven for charges of dirty-old-man tricks that would get a CEO of any publicly traded company run out of business. And as long as he writes a big enough check to the cause of gender equity, he assumes everyone will soon forget that he is alleged to have subjected young women who worked for him to a casting couch out of the 1930s.

Harvey didn’t make it in Hollywood without knowing his audience.

Appeared in the October 7, 2017, print edition.

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