NPR Wrote a Bad Harvey Weinstein Story

Harvey Weinstein is a sexual predator, assailant, and rapist who jerks off on plants.

Those are the allegations, but it's hard giving the benefit of the doubt to a man who's been accused of sex crimes by three dozen women and counting. Plus, there's that Goddamn tape of him trying to coerce a model into sex that the NYPD recorded as part of a sting operation.

It's becoming pretty clear that he's a sex offender, something that Hollywood brass always suspected but ignored.

Professional recourse has been levied: he was fired from his own production company, The Weinstein Company, and NPR reported Saturday that he's been expelled from The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, also known as The Academy, or the entity that excludes nominating and awarding people of color, as well as forgetting the dead.

Image by Rex/Shutterstock

Image by Rex/Shutterstock

My problem with the NPR story are the undertones of reverence and romance it has for The Academy, whose membership has historically comprised of its fair share of unsavory individuals. Here are some nuggets:

"This is an exceedingly rare move for the organization, which was founded 90 years ago by studio executive Louis B. Mayer. In 2004, the academy revoked the membership of actor Carmine Caridi, best known for The Godfather movies, after he shared a copyrighted movie screener with a friend who uploaded it to the Internet."

It's worth noting that Louis B. Mayer of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM Studios) was a fucking creep. MGM was a hotbed for predatory "casting couch" producers, who targeted young actresses. In her memoir, Shirley Temple recounts a producer exposing himself to her when she was 12. The bad behavior was modeled from the top. Mayer had a reputation for sexual assault and harassment, including groping Judy Garland's breasts.

The story fails to mention this, but it mind-bogglingly juxtaposes two types of fireable offenses: copyright infringement and rape.

"Losing one's status within the academy is a symbolic shunning by the Hollywood establishment, with real consequences for the disgraced producer. Weinstein will no longer even be able to vote in the award ceremonies that his films have dominated for years."

Wow.

First, plant-fuckers absolutely should be shunned by Hollywood. For Christ's sake, unless there's a strong breeze, the poor plant can't dodge a load.

Second, my heart bleeds for Weinstein since he can't vote in award ceremonies anymore.

Oh, the humanity!

Thank God he will face such a "real consequence" so severe compared to the trauma, violation, victimization, emotional scarring, and shame that his 36 accusers live with.

"The decision comes as no surprise. On Wednesday, the academy issued a statement describing the allegations against Weinstein as 'repugnant, abhorrent, and antithetical to the high standards of the academy and the creative community it represents.'"

Actually, it comes as a big, Harvey Weinstein FUPA-sized surprise, considering misogyny, sexism, and sex crimes are embedded in the industry culture, and that The Academy hasn't expelled Roman Polanski or Bill Cosby, and additionally awarded Casey Affleck Best Actor last year--you know, really non-repugnant, inabhorrent, high-standard types.

"The academy board members involved in this decision included high-wattage celebrities such as Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Hanks, as well as representatives from nearly every aspect of the film industry, from special effects to makeup artists."

Not only are Whoopi and Tom actors but light-bulbs, too! It's also good to know that A-listers caucus with the special effects folks and makeup artists to determine that sex offenders aren't fit for duty.

"At the peak of his powers, Weinstein wielded legendary influence within the academy...the companies Weinstein co-founded with his brother, Miramax and The Weinstein Company, have produced or distributed movies that have been nominated for 341 Academy Awards and won 81 of them."

The story lists the man's credentials and accomplishments, but doesn't attempt to detail any of his offenses or at least provide a link to the recording of him grovelling for sex.

Cool.

Lastly, there's the laughable statement issued by The Academy's Board of Governors:

"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy." 

There's no reason to boast about accomplishing a majority vote over such a no-brainer decision. What this really says is that there are actually some members of the board that wanted to keep Weinstein in the club.

"We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over."

Again, no atta boys for admitting an acceptable stance on predatory behavior and workplace harassment.

And no, it's not over because you say it is. It will never be over for the victims. Kicking Harvey Weinstein out and publishing a poorly worded statement does not mean we suddenly live in a post-sexually predatory era.

It's over when it stops and when the women in the entertainment industry say so.

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