Last night’s Academy Awards featured a lot of generalities and not much inspiration or speaking truth to power.
Last night’s Academy Awards broadcast was Hollywood’s way of addressing the sexual-harassment scandal without really addressing it, discussing it without really discussing it, and assuring the public that all the worst stuff is in the past and that no one needs to worry about it anymore.
Yes, it was nice to see Ashley Judd and Annabella Sciorra again, up on stage alongside Salma Hayek. But no one involved in the ceremony could ever quite come out and say why those three were up on stage... The president’s defenses of protectionism are incoherent babble that is just factually wrong; Trump insists that “our Steel and Aluminum industries are dead” when the U.S. Department of Commerce figures show that since the beginning of 2009, the six major U.S. steel companies have collectively reported net earnings for 20 quarters... The president still hasn’t figured out that you can’t change government policy as quickly and impulsively as you type out and send a Tweet.
By midnight Wednesday, less than 12 hours before the executives were expected to arrive, no one on the president’s team had prepared any position paper for an announcement on tariff policy, the official said. In fact, according to the official, the White House counsel’s office had advised that they were as much as two weeks away from being able to complete a legal review on steel tariffs.
There were no prepared, approved remarks for the president to give at the planned meeting, there was no diplomatic strategy for how to alert foreign trade partners, there was no legislative strategy in place for informing Congress and no agreed upon communications plan beyond an email cobbled together by Ross’s team at the Commerce Department late Wednesday that had not been approved by the White House.
.. By Thursday afternoon, the U.S. stock market had fallen and Trump, surrounded by his senior advisers in the Oval Office, was said to be furious.
.. This reminds me of Steve Bannon’s “plan” to announce the immigration restrictions without any warning in the first days of Trump’s presidency. No one in the rest of the government was prepared to implement them; John Kelly, then the secretary of Homeland Security, learned from television that Trump had signed the order.
.. he’s flat-out wrong when he claims, “Maybe it’ll cost a little bit more, but we’ll have jobs.”
.. the decline of jobs in the steel and aluminum industries predates the competition with China by decades. Industry experts know that this is mostly because of innovation and industry consolidation. The era of labor-intensive metal production is over.
Knowing what I know now, I wonder if it wasn’t my friendship with them — and Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney — that saved me from being raped.
.. The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, “I will kill you, don’t think I can’t.”
When he was finally convinced that I was not going to earn the movie the way he had expected, he told me he had offered my role and my script with my years of research to another actress.
.. he gave me a list of impossible tasks with a tight deadline:
1. Get a rewrite of the script, with no additional payment.
2. Raise $10 million to finance the film.
3. Attach an A-list director.
4. Cast four of the smaller roles with prominent actors.
Much to everyone’s amazement, not least my own, I delivered, thanks to a phalanx of angels who came to my rescue, including Edward Norton, who beautifully rewrote the script several times and appallingly never got credit, and my friend Margaret Perenchio, a first-time producer, who put up the money. The brilliant Julie Taymor agreed to direct, and from then on she became my rock. For the other roles, I recruited my friends Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton and my dear Ashley Judd. To this day, I don’t know how I convinced Geoffrey Rush, whom I barely knew at the time.
.. Now Harvey Weinstein was not only rejected but also about to do a movie he did not want to do.
Ironically, once we started filming, the sexual harassment stopped but the rage escalated. We paid the price for standing up to him nearly every day of shooting.
.. So he told me he was going to shut down the film because no one would want to see me in that role.
It was soul crushing because, I confess, lost in the fog of a sort of Stockholm syndrome, I wanted him to see me as an artist: not only as a capable actress but also as somebody who could identify a compelling story and had the vision to tell it in an original way.
.. I was hoping he would acknowledge me as a producer, who on top of delivering his list of demands shepherded the script and obtained the permits to use the paintings.
.. But all of this seemed to have no value. The only thing he noticed was that I was not sexy in the movie.
.. He offered me one option to continue. He would let me finish the film if I agreed to do a sex scene with another woman. And he demanded full-frontal nudity.
He had been constantly asking for more skin, for more sex. Once before, Julie Taymor got him to settle for a tango ending in a kiss instead of the lovemaking scene he wanted us to shoot between the character Tina Modotti, played by Ashley Judd, and Frida.
.. When Harvey saw the cut film, he said it was not good enough for a theatrical release and that he would send it straight to video.
This time Julie had to fight him without me and got him to agree to release the film in one movie theater in New York if we tested it to an audience and we scored at least an 80.
Less than 10 percent of films achieve that score on a first screening.
I didn’t go to the test. I anxiously awaited to receive the news. The film scored 85... the film industry stopped making an effort to find out what female audiences wanted to see and what stories we wanted to tell... between 2007 and 2016, only 4 percent of directors were female and 80 percent of those got the chance to make only one film. In 2016, another study found, only 27 percent of words spoken in the biggest movies were spoken by women.
“Fathers have a big chance to do this just by listening to their daughters, and showing them that they’re worth listening to. Co-workers can do this by not commenting on a woman’s appearance when they wouldn’t say the same of a man.
“This is not rocket science,” Steinem added. “It’s empathy.”
.. We need not just sensitivity training, but also accountability. That means firing not only the men who sexually harass but also the men and women who are complicit.
.. “People need to be afraid not just of doing these things, but also of not doing anything when someone around them does it,” Sandberg said.
.. One dismissal sends a stronger message throughout an organization than 10,000 hours of sensitivity training.
.. Men have sometimes been prone to disbelieve victims’ stories, and one of the most distasteful aspects of the Harvey Weinstein scandal was a rush to refocus blame by questioning why female victims didn’t speak up earlier or go to the police. That tendency to victim-shame is precisely why survivors are reluctant to speak up.. a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 54 percent of American women report having received unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances.. Civil rights weren’t just a “black problem,” the Holocaust wasn’t just a “Jewish problem” and sexual harassment and discrimination are more than just a “women’s problem.”.. “Put peer pressure on each other to treat women better.”
, Weinstein manipulated and pocketed the entertainment media in extraordinary ways. He hired countless “journalists” to work for his company in various capacities, offered them glamorous opportunities, and oftentimes threatened to pull advertising from publications working on negative stories. An entertainment media starved for Oscar campaign dollars simply could not afford to lose Hollywood’s most prolific Oscar-winner and advertiser.
.. everyone knew, and no one did anything to stop it.
.. But silence is complicity and a whole lot of powerful people, by their own admission, remained silent, even though they believed these Ohio girl-victims were piling up like cord wood.
.. You can bet the house that Bill and Hillary Clinton knew all about the rumors surrounding Weinstein’s indefensible behavior, and so did Barack and Michelle Obama, and so did every single Democrat who benefitted from Weinstein’s donations and mega-fundraising.
But they still took the money, didn’t they?
.. And even though they knew the truth, Variety still took Weinstein’s advertising money.
.. And even though, going all the way back to 1997, she believed Weinstein was a monstrous serial-harasser, Ashley Judd still worked with him in 2002’s Frida and 2009’s Crossing Over — still put on a pussy hat and lashed out against “sexist” President Trump before she ever went public with what she knew for a fact about Weinstein.
.. So why go public now?
Weinstein is 65 years-old, his company is reportedly going broke, and he has not produced a hit in nearly five years. In other words, he is an aging, washed-up hasbeen who can no longer do anything for Hollywood’s Ashley Judds and Varietys.
.. This is about score-settling, not feminism.
This is about payback, not making the world a better place.
.. These are bad people who allowed a bad man to get away with doing bad things for as long as he was useful to them
.. Rotting leftwing Hollywood, the co-opted entertainment media, the Democrat Party and its national media enablers… a wicked and entrenched system, enablers all, who are every bit as guilty as good ole’ Harvey.