Harvey Weinstein Is My Monster Too

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.

.. He also would never know how much he hurt me. I never showed Harvey how terrified I was of him. When I saw him socially, I’d smile and try to remember the good things about him, telling myself that I went to war and I won.
..  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.

Americans have always been nice. But is it just a sham?

The paradox of Trump’s insisting on his own niceness even while engaging in distinctly nasty conduct (political and otherwise) has a long history in the United States.

Trump epitomizes the conventional version of American niceness, which assumes that Americans are fundamentally decent and benevolent people with the best of intentions, whose acts of aggression are reluctant and defensive necessities designed to protect us.

.. This is the kind of amiability that obscures the shadowy side of American life.

.. Americans have also historically attempted to transform our niceness into a national attitude rooted in justice and mutual respect by acknowledging American cruelty and using it as an impetus to live up to an ideal of moral integrity based on the courage to tell the truth.

.. Since the 19th century, Americans’ belief in our own niceness has never wavered. Yet even then, American niceness obscured a tendency to refuse accountability for aggression and offense — and even unspeakable cruelty.

.. In 1814, Gen. Andrew Jackson supervised the mutilation of the corpses of more than 800 Creek Native Americans killed at Horseshoe Bend in Alabama during the Creek War. The desecration of the bodies involved cutting off the tip of each Indian’s nose to count the number of victims, and taking long strips of skin from the dead to use as bridle reins.

.. Thus the mistreatment of Indians wasn’t only a political problem but a profound failure on white Americans’ part to live up to their Christian reputation for courtesy, respect and kindness.

.. This same conflict could be seen in the issue of slavery.

.. If kindness were the rule in the master-slave relationship, Douglass argued, then Southern newspapers would not be filled with runaway-slave notices describing branding with irons and scarring from whips.

..  One is based on historical forgetting, on empty gestures and cliches, on refusing to own up to American errors; the other connects niceness with ethics and justice by recognizing Americans’ failures to be the kind people we imagine ourselves to be

In China, It’s the Party That Keeps the Boy Band Going

So what explains their appeal?

“I like them because they express such positive values,” said Jia Su, a 24-year-old advertising worker in Beijing. She has followed the group since she was a university student and now manages the Weibo account of a fan club for TFBoys. “They are nice, kind, hardworking. That’s what the Japanese and Korean boy bands don’t have.”

Unlike many teenage pop stars in Japan, South Korea and elsewhere, the members of TFBoys display no signs of youthful rebellion. They decidedly do not walk on the wild side. They sing of studying hard and serving the nation. The group’s music is cheerful with upbeat lyrics, and the boys’ appearance tends toward neat outfits and sweet smiles.

.. That wholesome schoolboy image has won TFBoys love not only from Chinese fans, but also from the government. They have twice been featured on the Chinese Lunar New Year television gala staged by CCTV, the state broadcaster.

.. “One way the Chinese government controls the entertainment industry,” said Zhu Dake, a cultural critic at Tongji University in Shanghai, “is by honoring and financially rewarding those who, from the government’s perspective, are conveying positive values.”

In this case, “positive values” means not just traditional values such as filial piety, social harmony and hard work, but also deference to the party line.

.. Since South Korea agreed last year to allow the United States to install a missile defense system — called the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad — South Korean shows have been blocked from the Chinese internet, and South Korean singers and actors have been barred from Chinese television.

.. “No company can risk sponsoring a ‘bad boy’ band that might end up on the government’s blacklist,”

.. “Before the early 2000s, the mainland Chinese entertainment industry was dominated by Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Celebrities from those places were regarded as true stars,” Mr. Zou said. “But it’s different now. We have the money, and the market. What’s more, entertainment companies have learned the key to producing successful idols.”

.. “There’s a Chinese saying: At the age of 3 you can already see what a man will be like when he is old.”

SCOTUS Hearing Revealed The Character Of Neil Gorsuch AND Senate Democrats

he was so consistent and respectful, that opinion pieces have taken to denying him support, but not blaming him for it. To do otherwise would seem monstrous in the face of the kind of character on display by the Colorado Judge who some say may have learned at the knee of Kennedy, but will likely rule in the vein of Scalia.

.. Gorsuch’s immediate, and obviously habitual, graciousness to someone who sneezed was a moment worth noting.

.. Opposition to Gorsuch is absurd given his bi-partisan support, his qualifications, and his qualities as a man, and yet come it will.

.. a kind man