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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2037

Harvey Weinstein: the star who lost his gravity

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

Harvey Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax that produced a number of successful independent movies including Shakespeare in Love, which in turn won him an Academy Award, is on a downward spiral as far as what is left of reputation is concerned.

As more and more actresses and models started coming out with their own tales, Mr Weinstein needs a biblical miracle to stem the tide that has the potential to ruin him beyond redemption.

The accusations against Mr Weinstein took a turn for the worse, when both Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow provided the development with renewed momentum; both said that they had been the victims at the hands of Mr Weinstein during the early stages of their respective careers. Ms Paltrow even said that her former boyfriend at that time, Brad Pitt, even confronted Mr Weinstein over the matter.

As the web of indecent assaults started to unravel in public, Mr Weinstein does not appear to be seeing any respite in the evolving disaster; earlier on, he was fired from the very company that he co-founded. Famous Hollywood personalities, meanwhile, condemn him in unison over his treatment of women.

Adding insult to injury, there are over 40 employees of his company, both present and past, who had witnessed Mr Weinstein’s infamous frolics that were said to have taken place in the form of touching and groping.
Judging by the way the story developed so far, it can only get worse for Mr Weinstein, when the floodgates of claims are opened at courts and compensation bills run into millions.

In response to the mounting allegations, a spokeswoman for Mr Weinstein’s secretary issued a statement along familiar lines in the incidents of this nature: "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr Weinstein," said she, while adding, "Mr Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”

Sallie Hofmeister, the spokeswoman, went on to say, “Mr Weinstein obviously can't speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr Weinstein has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”

Mr Weinstein may try to change his path, from a naughty one to a better one, perhaps as a well-orchestrated PR stunt. The possibility of salvaging his reputation, however, is fast becoming a distant dream, because the collective voice of women over the sexual exploitation by men is at its strongest position, as never before.

The quick fall of media personalities like Roger Ayles, Bill O’Reilly and Eric Bolling from Fox News shows those who indulge in vile practices while abusing their star status have to face the music at some point in their lives in the 21st century.

Even Hillary Clinton joined the bandwagon yesterday while expressing her shock at the news; Mrs Clinton broke her silence over the issue, after coming under heavy criticism, as Mr Weinstein used to be a big donor for the Democratic Party. President Obama’s spokesman condemned Mr Weinstein too.

The predicament of Mr Weinstein’s will be an eye-opener for other men in power, who tend to exploit women while being fully aware of their vulnerability. Hollywood is not the only place men of this particular tribe exist – unfortunately.

- Asian Tribune -

Harvey Weinstein: the star who lost his gravity
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